Cashew Cream and Cashew Sour Cream

I love this stuff! As a plant based eater and someone who can’t do sour cream this is a great substitute.

With thanks to Angel Liddon at ohsheglows.com

In a bowl, combine 1 cup (250ml) raw cashews and enough water to cover them and soak for 8 hours or overnight (for a quick soak method, put the cashews in a bowl, pour boiling water over them until the cashews are covered, and soak for 2 hours). Drain and rinse the cashews and transfer them into a blender with 1/2 cup to 1 cup (125 to 250ml) water. Less water will give you a thicker sauce. Blend on high speed until the cream is smooth. If using the cashew cream for a savory recipe, add a pinch of salt, if desired.

To make Cashew Sour Cream, add the following ingredients to the blender with the cashews and water and blend on high speed until smooth:

2 tsp (10ml) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5ml) apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp (2.5ml) fine grain sea salt, or to taste

Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps

This appetizer was a huge hit at a recent family gathering. Gluten free and plant based it met the needs of those with dietary needs but they also went over well with the rest of the crowd. The potato base was slightly crunchy and salty and held up well as a finger food. The walnut taco meat was the perfect and delicious substitute for meat. It’s texture resembled meat and it held the flavour of the spices to make you truly believe it was meat. Loaded on the Cashew Sour Cream base, which added just the right amount of tang, the meat, salsa and crunchy green onions is the perfect mix of flavours. The original recipe said to cook the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes but I chose to go a little longer than that. I wanted them really crispy on the outside. Just keep an eye on them or you will end up with potato chips, especially if you slice them too thin. But hey, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad after all!

Because of timing, I baked the potatoes at home and then transported them in a container to the gathering. A 15 minute reheat in the oven crisped them back up and kept them fresh for adding the toppings. No soggy potatoes for this crowd! Angela suggests even making the walnut meat and the cashew sour cream a day ahead to shorten your prep time and add to the convenience. You are going to love these.

With thanks to Angela Liddon at ohsheglows

Serves 28-30 crisps     gluten-free, soy-free, sugar-free, grain-free

For the Potato Crisps:
2 russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced into 1/4 inch (6mm) rounds
1 Tbsp (25ml) grapeseed oil
Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Walnut Taco Meat:
1 cup (250ml) walnuts, toasted, if preferred (I toasted mine lightly in a frying pan on the stove top just to add some depth to the flavour)
1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 1/2 tsp (7ml) chili powder
1/2 tsp (2ml) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1ml) fine grain sea salt
1/8 tsp (0.5ml) cayenne pepper
To Assemble:
1 recipe Cashew Sour Cream (look under Other Yummy Stuff for the recipe)
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125 to 175ml) salsa
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the Potato Crisps:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my new favourite cooking item! Things don’t stick to the pan, they cook evenly and the clean up is so easy.) Place the potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil. (I put mine in a large bowl and gently hand tossed them to cover them.) Rub the potatoes to disperse the oil evenly. Sprinkle the potatoes generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes,flipping them once halfway through, until tender and lightly browned. (This can take a bit longer if you want them crispier) Allow the potatoes to cool for 5 minutes before assembling.
  3. Make the Walnut Taco Meat: In a mini food processor, combine the walnuts,, oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne and process into a fine crumble. (You can also chop and mix the ingredients by hand, if preferred.) Set aside.
  4. To assemble, top each potato slice with 1 tsp (5ml) of the Cashew Sour Cream, followed by about 1 tsp each of the walnut taco meat, salsa, and green onions, in that order. Garnish with pepper. Serve immediately while still warm.

Angela’s Tip: Instead of potatoes, try serving the toppings on lettuce cups, or pair them with tortilla chips for a satisfying vegan nacho plate.

Kathryn’s notes: I assembled my crisps enmasse. To save time I lined up the potato crisps and then sprinkled everything (except the Cashew Sour Cream) across them instead of doing each with great care. Saved time…

One Bowl Vegan Banana Bread

Don’t be fooled by the word vegan; this banana bread is AMAZING! Angela Liddon has done it again with this tasty, healthy recipe that is quick and easy. The hardest part is not eating the whole thing when it comes out of the oven. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! It went so fast I didn’t even have time to get a picture…

With thanks to Angela Liddon at ohsheglows.com

vegan, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

yields one loaf

Ingredients:
for the wet ingredients
1 1/3 cups (320g) mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium or 3 large)
2 Tbsp (15g) ground flaxseed
1/3 cup (60ml) plant-based milk (Angela likes almond milk and so do I)
1/3 cup (60ml) coconut oil, melted*
2 Tbsp 915ml) pure maple syrup**
2 tsp (10ml) pure vanilla extract
for the dry ingredients
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (60g) coconut sugar ***
1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) light/white spelt flour or whole-grain spelt flour****
sliced banana, chopped walnuts, and/or chocolate chips, for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with oil and set aside. (I brushed mine with coconut oil)
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana until almost smooth, and make sure you have 1 1/3 cups.
  3. Stir in the wet ingredients (ground flax, milk, melted oil, maple syrup, and vanilla) into the banana until combined.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients (sugar, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour) into the wet mixture, one by one, in the order listed. Stop stirring when there are no flour patches at the bottom of the bowl. (I missed the one by one part and mixed all my dry ingredients together and added them to the wet. I don’t think it changed anything…)
  5. Spoon the dough into the loaf pan and spread out evenly. Add you desired toppings and gently press them into the dough to adhere.
  6. Bake the loaf, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes (Angela bakes for 47 to 48 minutes, but your time may vary. Mine only needed 45 minutes), until lightly golden and firm on top. The top of the loaf should slowly spring back when touched.
  7. Place the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Then, slide a knife around the loaf to loosen it and gently remove it from the pan, placing it directly onto the cooling rack until completely cooled (or to hasten the cooling process, transfer to the fridge for 45 minutes.)
  8. Slice the loaf once cooled. Angela loves to spread hers with vegan butter or cocnut oil. The loaf will keep in the fridge tightly wrapped for 3 to 4 days, or it can be frozen for 4 to 6 weeks.

Angela’s Tips:

*I have not tried it yet, but you can probably swap melted vegan butter for the coconut oil.

**If you don’t have any maple syrup on hand, feel free to swap in another 2 Tbsp of cocnut sugar. The loaf won’t be quite as moist, but it’ll still work.

***Coconut sugar can probably be swapped for natural cane sugar.

****I tried this recipe with light/white spelt flour, all=purpose white flour, and whole-grain spelt flour. My preference is light/white flour because it lends a great flavour while still feeling quite light in texture. The whole-grain spelt flour version is my second favourite; it is heartier in texture that the light/white spelt flour version (and cracks more on the top of the loaf), with a slightly earthier flavour. It doesn’t rise as much, though, and it is more dense. If your whole-grain spelt flour is quite course, I recommend sifting it prior to use for the best results.

Kathryn’s notes:

If the ingredients seem a little daunting in terms of where to find them do yourself a favour and head to the bulk food store. It is my new favourite place to find things that just aren’t at the regular grocery store or aren’t easy to find. And, you can pick your quantity.

My first attempt at this was made with whole-grain spelt flour. As I mentioned, no time for a picture. It was teenage boy approved.

 

 

Apple Pie Bites

Quick, fun, yummy and picky eater/little boy approved. Need I say more?

With thanks to The Blond Cook

Serves 8     Prep Time: 15 minutes     Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Ingredients:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp apple pie spice*, and additional apple pie spice (about 1/4 tsp) for sprinkling on top of the crescent rolls
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2 inch) slices
1 (8 oz can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter, set aside
  4. Arrange crescent roll triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture onto each triangle.
  5. Sprinkle each triangle evenly with chopped pecans.
  6. Place an apple slice on the wide end of each triangle. Wrap crescent roll dough around each apple.
  7. Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter. Sprinkle lightly with additional apple pie spice.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

 

*Apple Pie Spice

1 1/2Tbsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp allspice

Sweet Potato, Edamame and Quinoa Bowl

I cannot believe how easy this was to make. This easy to make salad is a meal in itself. Gluten-free, this dish also packs a whop of protein, fiber and healthy fat. We enjoyed it served warm but I have no doubt it would be just as yummy cold. Just a couple of personal notes, I made the quinoa using my homemade vegetable stock (see ohsheglows.com) and I only used a small amount of the dressing so it wouldn’t be soggy. The rest of the dressing can be saved to use on a fresh green salad. Go ahead, give it a try.

With thanks to Rachel Druckenmiller as posted on her blog rachelsnourishingkitchen.com

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Ingredients:
Salad:
1 pound sweet potatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper, to taste
1 cup quinoa
2 cups (about 10 oz) shelled edamame soybeans
1/2 cup chopped cashews, lightly toasted
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
Creamy Ginger Tahini Dressing:
3 Tbsp raw tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
2 Tbsp water
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes until pierced with a fork.
  2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Spread quinoa on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool and prevent it from clumping. (I didn’t include this step as I wanted to salad to be warm)
  3. While quinoa is cooking, cook edamame according to package directions and then set aside.
  4. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small jar. Set aside.
  5. Put cooled (or warm) quinoa in a large bowl and add sweet potatoes, edamame, scallions, and cashews. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine evenly. Add more sea salt and pepper to taste.

Golden Red Lentil Dal with Cilantro Speckled Basmati

This dish is truly a family favourite. It is simple and yet completely satisfying. As with any dish, the fresher the spices the more powerful the flavour. And, if you crave heat, you can totally increase the heat by adding a hot curry powder or more cayenne powder. To speed up the process a bit I used a can of lentils instead of dried lentils. It cut the cooking time by about 10 minutes.  The lentils keep their shape and flavour. I also didn’t add the sugar and didn’t find it felt like anything was missing. I guess it’s a matter of personal choice. I was excited to try the cilantro speckled basmati rice but we have an anti-cilantro family member so plain basmati it was for us. I have been eating the leftovers for two days and as Angela Liddon says the, “leftovers only get better the next day.” This is yummy served with a piece of naan on the side.

With thanks to Angela Liddon of ohsheglows.com

Serves 4     Prep Time: 20 minutes     Cook Time: 25 Minutes

vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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Ingredients:
for the curry:
2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
3 large or 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups peeled and finely diced carrots (about 2-3 large)*
2 tsp curry powder, or to taste**
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
1 (14oz/398ml) can light coconut milk
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, plus more if desired to thin broth
1/2 to 1 tsp fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper. to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1 tsp cane sugar (optional)
1 (5oz) package baby spinach
for the rice:
1 cup dry basmati rice
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil or vegan butter
1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or as needed
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, large stems removed and finely chopped ***
Fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Squeeze of fresh lime juice, to taste
suggested toppings:
Green onions, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Toasted  pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
Squeeze of lime juice (optional)
  1. For the curry: Add the oil in a large pot and increase heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Sauté  over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally , until softened.
  2. Stir in the ginger and carrots, and continue sautéing for another few minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric. Stir well. Cook for a minute, until fragrant.
  4. Pick over and rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth and salt. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered with the lid ajar, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent to lentils from sticking to the bottom. Stir in a touch more broth if you’d like a slightly thinner consistency. After cooking, stir in all of the spinach until wilted, if desired.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Add the rice into a medium pot along with the oil and broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and cook for 12 to 16 minutes, until the rice is soft and tender. Fluff with a fork and stir in the cilantro. Season to taste with salt and lime juice. Keep the lid on until ready to serve.
  6. Add a generous scoop of rice on a plate or bowl and top with a couple of ladelfuls of curry. Add your desired toppings and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 to 6 days. The curry can also be frozen for up to 4 weeks, possibly longer. For easy freezer storage, add the cooled curry into a freezer-safe bag, press out the air, and freeze on a flat surface. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or simply leave on the counter until mostly thawed.

Angela’s Tips:

*The smaller you dice the carrots, the faster they cook! Angela opts for thinly sliced carrots here to hasten cook time.

**Be sure to use a good-quality curry powder (one you enjoy the taste of) as a poor-tasting one can throw the flavours off. Angela recommends her favourite Simply Organic curry powder.

***Not a cilantro fan? Simply leave it out and prepare the rice without it. No biggie!