Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Vegan Cultured Cashew Cheese Cake Bites (Gluten free!)

So... I can't eat anything right now. And it sucks. 

Or does it? 

Creamer cow seems to be on to something...

Soy and wheat and all sorts of other things are off the menu. My stomach has just been up in arms for about 3 months now so I'm trying to isolate and repair.  Thankfully, I'm not hopeless resourceful, and have managed to make some guilty pleasures to help me not die suffer through whatever this plague is.

Warning, there is a lot of down time for this recipe but shit when you can't eat anything, you got time to scheme...

Vegan Cultured Cashew Cheese Cake Bites

For the cheesecake
  • 3 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight & drained)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 40-45 billion probiotic strains*; amount of capsules will vary. Label should state amount.
  • 1 teaspoon vegan gelatin powder (I used genutine) plus 2 tablespoons water - OPTIONAL
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup softened or liquid ghee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the crust
  • 1 cup fine ground almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating (optional)
  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil.
*NOTE* You can forgo the genutine, but you'll want to use the freezer to firm up the cheesecake, rather than the fridge.

For the filling
Blend cashews and coconut milk in high power blender until super smooth. Like, no detectable texture. If the mixture is hot (which it probably will be), let cool to slightly warmer than room temp (around 100f/38 c).  Once cooled, stir in the probiotics, cover, and leave in a warm place overnight. 

This is basically diesel vegan yogurt/cream cheese we're making, complete with delectable tang. It is done when it tastes well suited to your own tastes. It can be about 8-14 hours depending on a variety of factors.

For the crust: 
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line and grease a 5x9 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving long flaps hanging over the sides of the pan (for easy removal later). 

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda and salt and cinnamon. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat till fully combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden then remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Back to the filling: 

In a small bowl combine the genutine with the water and let sit for 3-5 minutes to bloom. Melt the genutine with short bursts 10 second bursts in a microwave  or warm over low heat until it is clear and all the graininess is gone. 

Put the cream cheese mixture, genutine, and the rest of the ingredients into a high peered blender and blend until smooth. If needed you can add 1-2 tablespoons more of coconut milk to keep the mixture moving through the container.

Pour the batter over the cookie crust in the prepared pan. Smooth the top if needed. Cover and chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours or till good and firm.  You'll probably have some extra batter left over. I'm still tooling with the volume.
Cutting, Dipping & Serving:
In a dry bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and fat together, then stir till smooth and glossy. Remove from heat.

Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and run a knife along the sides of the cake to help it release from the pan. Using the parchment paper flaps, pull the cake out of the pan, placing it face down onto a cutting board with the “cookie side” facing up (as seen in the last row of pictures). Cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares with a sharp knife. If the cake is too hard, heat the knife in a glass of hot water and while dry before cutting.

Use a wood skewer or fondue dipper to pierce each cake piece, then dip and coat with chocolate (as seen in the last row of pictures). The chocolate ail begin to harden quickly.

Once fully coated, place them on a chilled parchment lined cookie sheet so that the bottoms firm quickly and don’t spread out. Let the chocolate set completely then serve or transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer tomato salad with cashew-goat cheese, sumac, & pomegranate molasses

Summer is here! I'm awash in vibrancy.  The season is still very green, but colors are starting to peak out as the long hours under the sun.  This dish is deceptively easy to throw together (especially if you use a store bought vegan cream cheese), just takes a little time but no real finesse in spite of what the pictures may imply.   It is also exceptionally tasty, hitting many flavor points; creamy, tart, umami, bright.

Sumac and pomegranate molasses are two very underrepresented ingredients in modern cooking.  You can find them both at middle eastern markets, as well as some eastern European markets as well (think Armenian, for example). 

Summer tomato salad with cashew-goat cheese, sumac, & pomegranate molasses

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tsp sumac, ground 
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses 
  • 800 g heirloom tomatoes 
  • 4 T vegan goat cheese (I don't have my own solid recipe yet)
  • Fresh greens to garnish (baby lettuce, arugula, slivered basil, etc.)
  • Salt & Pepper 
Combine the oil, sumac, some grinds of black pepper, and molasses in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake until combined. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a serving plate. Season with sea salt. Drop a little cashew cheese on each pile of tomatoes and scatter the salad leaves around. 

Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes and leaves. Grind some salt and sprinkle some pepper atop. Serve immediately. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Raw Vegan Mother Fucking Paleo Eggnog WITH BOURBON

Since I'm really bad at taking pictures of drinks, I'm putting up "relevant enough" other photos as the header, before showing off my mediocre "this doesn't look so amazing as to inspire you to want to make it right now," liquid consumable photography.

How is the photo above relevant? It is taken at an abandoned bourbon distillery from a recent trip to the bourbon trail in Tennessee.  As for the eggnog... I guess I can share a photo, after another shot...

The recipe gets its body and creaminess from cashews, and other eggnog tip-off flavor points from nutmeg, leaving you with a product that is both vegan and kind of much less disgusting than the stuff you get at the store, with a lot more body than out-of-the-box vegan eggnogs.  The bourbon is optional, unless of course you don't know how to shoot drinks...

Raw Vegan MF Paleo Eggnog (with boozy option)

One day I'll learn to  make smoothies look like food....

Makes: 2 cups
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 5-6 medjool dates, pitted 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg {optional: + more for sprinkling}
  • ⅛ tsp cloves
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Bourbon of choice (Bulleit isn't too bad)
Soak all of the ingredients, except the bourbon, in a container overnight (or 4-8 hours).  

Blend soaked ingredients using high power until things are smooth.  Use bourbon to thin, to taste, to 

Pour into drinking vessels of your choice. Top with a few grinds of fresh nutmeg, or a tap of ground.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Molasses & Lemon Tahini Dressing

I'm kind of in love with the Middle East in oh so many ways, while the cuisine may be nowhere near as stimulating as the political movements going on at any given moment, that is sort of like saying something is shorter than a giraffe.

I whipped this dish together with a few friends and fell in love with it so hard I immediately ran to the store first thing the next day to get more cauliflower and make it again because ZOMG I NEEDED TO SHARE THIS WITH THE (INTER)WORLD ASAP!

The original recipe I used had you frying the cauliflower, which added all sorts of work, time, dishes, and fat, and while I'm kind of into all of those things my freak festishes aren't necc. your freak fetishes so I opted to roast the cauliflower instead.

It is kind of an amazing dish right now for those of us trapped in New England, but vegetal and seasonally appropriate. Stores great for lunches and munches the next day.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate Molasses & Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1 batch of Tahini Sauce 4 Everything
  • 4~ lbs head(s of) Cauliflower
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Canola (or other high heat neutral oil) for roasting
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning
  • Optional fresh chopped green herbs for garnish (Parsley, cilantro, chives, etc.) 
Preheat oven to 500.

Chop the cauliflower into florets about the size of your thumb, and toss with enough oil to lightly coat. Place on 2 sheet pans covered in parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper, and place in oven for about 15 minutes, rotating until they're evenly goldened.

Arrange the cauliflower in a serving dish and lightly drizzle with pomegranate molasses and tahini sauce.  Garnish with chopped herbs if available.

Six years ago this December I posted a recipe for a pretty good Creamy Eggplant Roasted Red Pepper soup.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thick Tahini Sauce #SAUS4EVRYTNG!

From the right! 

Open Sesame!

Sesames are magic. Tahini is awesome. Therefore tahini sauce=magical awesome sauce that makes your mouth open to access all of the flavorful treasures in front of your FACE! 

Seriously. This stuff is a super treasure for omnivores, vegans, aliens not-otherwise-allergic to sesame (even if they are, it is worth it). It is so super that at la boqueria market in Barcelona, a woman at a falafel shop screamed at me when I touched the bottle on the counter top (my friend got a falafel there, I did not). 

This stuff is good.  Just trust me on this. You can put it on anything: sandwiches, nachos, salads, pizzas, your finger (like really, I just keep squeezing it onto my finger and eating it off. Even when not trying to seduce someone).

It comes together quickly. The only down side is it doesn't last too too long before getting a bit of an off taste (but it is still pretty good then, too), but that shouldn't be a problem. You can also freeze half or so of it for when you're ready. 

blah blah blah RECIPE! 

Thick Tahini Sauce

Now from the left! 

  • 1.5 c Tahini 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (more if daring)
  • 1 c fresh squeezed lemon juice (5 lemons +/-)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 c water
Toss all of ingredients, except the water, together in a blender or food processor on low until well blended.  Slowly start to add the water until you reach the consistency desired.  You can add a little more if you want for better bottle'ability. Lasts for about 2 weeks.


  • Spicy! Toss in 2-4 T of your fave hot sauce product (chipotle chiles in adobe sauce! Sriarcha!  Harissa!) 
  • Spicy n' Tangy! Same as above, but also add 1/4 c of pomegranate molasses (available at any middle eastern market or hippie ass coop). 
  • Roasted Garlic! Toss in 6-8 roasted garlic cloves and blend well.
  • Roasted Red Pepper: Blend in 1/4 c roasted red peppers.
2 years ago this December I posted about Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Ninja Star cookies.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sopa Verde de Elote Recipe (a.k.a. green corn soup)

Alright, I'm going to try blogging. I'm going to do away with standards of trying to be impressive by weaving together the sensory elements of time, place, season, weather, scent, food, and just say 'Hey, I made this!', and maybe if I'm feeling particularly verbal toss in a 'and this is why you should as well!'  I'll use whatever photos I have even if I feel like I could be happier with them.

Here I am with a veganized version of a recipe that originated with Diane Kennedy (a valuable scholar of regional mexican cuisine), got passed along with other authors, and veganized by me.

It is a stunning green soup, with a comforting full, vegetal body, sweet and springy, though best in mid summer when fresh corn starts coming in.   It is hard to describe as it is def't unique, but I feel it is the kind of dish I'd like to see more of at restaurants not just for its stunning vibrance, but also its thick, full bodied character.  With frozen ingredients, it is actually quite easy to make, coming together pretty quickly.

Sopa Verde de Elote Recipe

4 tablespoons neutral cooking oil of choice (I use canola)
1 small-med zucchini, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed & minced
4 cups corn kernels (frozen optional)
2/3 cup green peas (frozen optional)
a small handful of fresh cilantro, plus more to serve
1 small green (serrano, jalapeno, etc.) chile, charred and peeled*
3-6 Salad greens (Radish, romaine, iceburg, etc.)
2 1/2 - 3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, or to taste
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups water

Accoutrements: toasted nuts, lime-cashew cream, lime wedges, cilantro, chopped roasted serrano, etc.

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven, add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, and fry the onion and garlic, without browning, until soft.  Kill the heat.

Blend the corn kernels, peas, cilantro, chile, and lettuce leaves in a high power blender with 3 cups of water. Really aim to get the mixture very smooth, then add the zucchini.  You can either pulse it, or puree it depending on preference.  

Add the puree to the pot and cook over medium-high heat for another few minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan constantly. If you'd like, another 1 1/2 cups of water, or more, depending on the consistency you like. Add the salt, plus more to taste, if needed. Serve with lots of the suggested toppings.

Serves 4-6.

*To char the chiles: place whole chiles on a hot skillet or grill, cook, rotating regularly, until blistered and charred on all sides. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover, and let steam for a few minutes. Now the chiles are ready to peel.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 10 min

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Edamame Beet Hummus

What started as an effort to clean out my fridge/freezer, resulted in a brilliant red spread that cuts it as a veggie dip, sandwich spread, or a hell of a good April Fool's Day cupcake frosting.  Comes together relatively quickly if you have some extra roasted beets lying around.  While it is def't a different beast than chickpea based hummus, it is good for the carb conscious trying to get more vegetables into their diet.

Edamame Beet Hummus

1 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 medium (1/2 lb) medium beets, roasted and peeled
1/4 cup stirred tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspooon kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted cumin, ground
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Suggested serving: Sliced cucumbers, pita chips, celery, and olives


Boil the beans in salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, or microwave, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes.

Quarter the roast beets. In a food processor, puree the edamame, beets, tahini, juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and coriander until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix until absorbed.

To serve: Transfer to a small bowl and drizzle with remaining oil and a few grinds of pepper, surrounding with the suggested vegetables, or refrigerate for later consumption.