Cauliflower Mac & Cheese: Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum!

So this was awesome!!! We are lucky that our kids eat a ton of veggies but this was still an awesome way to serve them! Everyone loved it! Enjoy this tasty and super healthy dish!

Cauliflower Mac & Ch

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese – Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum! 
Gluten-free, Vegan

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
handful of baby carrots
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
pasta of choice (we used GF penne pasta)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Add cauliflower & carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 8-9 minutes until super tender. Drain.
  2. At the same time boil water for pasta and cook as instructed by package. Drain when done.
  3. In a high-speed blender (we use a Vitamix) blend the cashews and a 1/4 cup of water for 30 seconds. Then add the cooked and drained cauliflower & carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth.
  4. Add sauce & pasta into a pot and stir, till just combined. Salt, to taste
  5. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top

Kale Caesar – Kale Salad Challenge #4

Back to the Kale Salad! YUM! This one is so creamy and deelish it will please even people who think they don’t love kale. This dressing can be used with any other salad or even as dip!

Kale Caesar Salad

2 large bunches kale, stems discarded, chopped
Caesar Dressing
1 bunch red radishes, sliced super thin
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped

  1. Massage Kale and Dressing in a large bowl. Use your hands to massage and make sure to really get in there to soften the kale and evenly distribute the dressing.
  2. Add radishes, capers and avocado and toss.

Caesar Dressing
2 cups water
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup cashews
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons dark miso
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  1. Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend till creamy.
  2. Chill until ready to use and shake well.

Italian Potluck Night!!

As you know I LOVE Potlucks! And now we have a pretty regular Vegan Themed Potluck Party happening 🙂 Last nights theme was Italian Night! (last month was Asian) SUPER YUM! Not kidding this meal was out of control. We didn’t end up having dessert, but we all happily had seconds of the deelish food!

Lisa Dawn made this OUT of this world lasagna! We have seen her amazing Ricotta Cheese in her Stuffed Shells, but to taste this you would think that this was gourmet ricotta cheese made in Italy. But happily it was Vegan (but still super gourmet :)) And the homemade tomato sauce was also deelish!

Joey made this amazing pesto pasta sans cheese of course. It was so gorgeous with the fresh grape tomatoes and basil! Beautiful and super tasty!

I made my favorite Raw Crisp Caesar Salad with Pinenut parmesan and Artichoke Guacamole with mulit-grain pita chips. Yum!!!

On a side note, I can’t help but brag about Lisa & Paul’s overly impressive and adorable son Luke! Lisa had this great deck of cards with all the US Presidents pictures on them. Luke was able to go through all of them and name them!!! SO CUTE!! And he is under 2 years old!

Such a super great night with friends and deelish vegan food!

Amazing photo courtesy of Lisa's fabulous husband Paul!

Creamy Basil Dip

This was super yummy and sooo quick and easy to make. Love it! I love making meals that I can “snack” while eating. This was also great to have over for company. Yum, vegan, creamy and deelish!

Creamy Basil Dip

1 cup of cashews
1/2 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
A dash of coarse black pepper
One big handful of fresh basil, leaves only (most of one bunch)

Blend all ingredients except the basil until smooth and creamy. Then add basil and pulse – you still want there to be green flecks in the sauce.

Baked Freekah Risotto

I just recently tried out Freekeh “free-kah”. To me it was a new product but I have read that it has been around forever originating in the Middle East. It used to be only found in Middle Eastern markets but now it is popping up in restaurants in NYC and can be found in Whole Foods. Freekeh is a roasted green wheat and can be used in place of rice, bulgur or any grains and substituted in recipes for salads, pilaf, tabbouleh, or soup. I made a baked risotto with the freekeh and it came out sooo good! I used the whole grain version (instead of the cracked) which had a really nutty flavor and texture.

Baked Freekah Risotto

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of one lemon
1 medium onion
sea salt
1 1/2 cups freekeh
1 cup tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 recipe Pinenut Parmesan (below), divided or Nutritional Yeast
1 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

Pinenut Parmesan from Raw Crisp Caesar Salad Recipe

1/2 cup pinenuts
1/2 cup whole cashews or macadamia nuts
2 teaspoon good oil or fresh water
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
pinch dried garlic granules or powder
pinch Celtic or sea salt

In a food processor or blender: Chop pinenuts and cashews into a fine meal. Drizzle in a touch of oil or water. Chop in pulses until moist and ground. Add nutritional yeast, dried garlic and salt and chop in pulses until crumbly.

 Baked Freekah Risotto

  1. Preheat oven to 400F, with a rack in the top third. Spray non-stick oil over a 8×8-inch baking dish and sprinkle with lemon zest.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat combine the olive oil, onion, and a couple pinches of salt. Cook until the onions soften up and begin to become translucent, a few minutes. Add the freekah, stir until well-coated, and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the tomato sauce and the broth. Bring just to a simmer, remove from heat, and stir in about 3/4 of the Parmesan. Carefully taste a bit of the liquid, and adjust the seasoning if needed. Transfer to the baking dish, cover with foil, poke a few slits in the foil, and bake for about 55 minutes or until the grains are cooked through. Uncover and add remaining Parmesan a cook for a few for minutes.

Lisa Dawn’s Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

I am super excited about having my amazing friend Lisa Dawn Guest Blog!! She has just started her own fabulous blog, Lisa’s Project:Vegan with deelish vegan recipes which almost all take less than a half hour to make! She was the inspiration behind the Coconut Lentil Soup, which if you tried I know you loved! The Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese below looks out of this world. I know I will be making this soon myself!! Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Dawn: I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons – the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!

Stuffed Shells

Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
water
salt
nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight.  In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor.  Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice.  Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water.   Repeat until you finish all of the cashews.  Let this strain for a few hours.  The top might get slightly hard but don’t worry, just mix it back in.  When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.
Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil up shells according to package directions.  Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta.   While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time.  Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out.  Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta.  Add some garlic powder and mix.  Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce.  When the shells are done, carefully strain them.  Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells.  Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy!

Raw Tomato Napoleon with Basil Cashew Cheeze and Basil Oil

This was a gorgeous and delish recipe!! It was a perfect addition to the Summer Cleanse or any entertaining situation! Just beautiful!! The Cashew Cheeze is a great recipe to have for other dishes as well. This would be amazing in wraps, sandwiches or topped on Salads! So divine! Enjoy!

Raw Tomato Napoleon with Basil Cashew Cheeze and Basil Oil
Adapted from a recipe on RawMazing

For each Napoleon you will need:
1 small tomato
several  slices of zucchini
Basil Cashew Cheeze Spread
Basil Oil

Cut the tomato in thirds. Spread the Cashew Cheeze on the tomato slice. Layer tomato slice, zucchini and cheese, repeat. Drizzle basil Oil over top.

Basil Cashew Cheeze Spread
1 cup Cashews, soaked at least 1 hour
2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Garlic clove
Pinch Salt
1 cup basil leaves

Start food processor. Drop clove of garlic into processor and run until garlic is chopped. Add cashews, lemon juice and salt. Place all ingredients except basil in food processor and process until smooth. Add basil and pulse until basil is chopped up and combined into cheese.

Basil Oil
Finely chop 4 tablespoons basil and add to 1/4 cup olive oil

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