{Recipe} Sweet Cashew Cream

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This is a thick cashew cream suitable for teaming with trifle, apple pie and Christmas pudding.

This combination of ingredients produces a thick cream that is delightfully moreish.

Ingredients

(quantity: approx. 2 1/2 cups)

2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water overnight

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 vanilla bean

3/4 cup water

Method

1. Drain and rinse the cashew nuts. Set aside.

2. Add the 3/4 cup of water to a [high speed] blender. Then add the cashews and maple syrup.

3. Cut the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise, and scrape the seeds into the blender.

4. Blend until smooth. I use the XL smoothie setting on my Blendtec.

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The cream will thicken further during refrigeration, and should last 2-3 days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge (unless you eat it first, of course!).

Try this cashew cream with Peach, Mango & Raspberry Individual Trifles.

Ally

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Roasted Cashew and Coriander Pesto

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We don’t seem to have much luck when it comes to growing coriander in our backyard. We are fortunate to have well-established parsley, oregano, rosemary, mint, and garlic chives plants. But coriander does not thrive in our little herb garden.

Fortunately for us, big, beautiful, fresh bunches of coriander are available for a pittance at our farmers’ market.

We use coriander in salads, stir fries, Thai curries, and pesto.

Today’s pesto recipe contains roasted cashews, raw pine nuts and coriander. The oil content ensures that it is spreadable and easily stirred through pasta shells or spirals. For a pesto recipe with a lower oil content, see this recipe.

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Cashew and Coriander Pesto

Quantity: makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups raw cashews

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 tightly packed cups coriander leaves (some stem is OK)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Spread the cashews onto a baking tray and roast in a warm oven for about 10 minutes. Allow the cashews to cool before using them in the recipe.

2. Wash and dry the coriander leaves (I use a salad spinner), and put them in a food processor with the cashews, pine nuts and garlic cloves. Process for 30 seconds.

3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor using a spatula. Add the salt and olive oil. Process for 30 seconds.

4. Taste the pesto, and add more salt if desired. Process for a further 15 seconds (if required).

5. Serve with your preferred gluten-free pasta.

Scoop leftovers into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the fridge. Yummy on toast!

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The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

All of the tiny vegans enjoy this pesto stirred through pasta. As they find raw garlic spicy, I keep the garlic content low in this recipe.

Two cloves is low for us. 🙂

Thanks for sticking with me through Vegan MoFo. The ‘finish line’ is in site. Wishing you all a beautiful day. 🙂

Ally

{Recipe} Alu Kofta with Green Pea Dhal and Cashew Sauce

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This month, I celebrate 17 years as a vegan. Yay! It truly is one of the best life decisions I have EVER made (along with marrying Mat, and having our precious children :)).

Today’s Recipe

I am featuring recipes from a cookbook that I acquired in 1996 (the year I embraced veganism). The cookbook is called Wolf and Lamb. It was written by the owner of one of my favourite vegan eateries, 20 000 Cows. A friend of mine visited Byron Bay for a holiday in ’96, and brought the book back as a gift for me. It has had a special place amongst my recipe books ever since.

A friend, Laura, and her son, Toby, visited our place on the weekend. Mat decided to cook Alu (potato) Kofta with Green Pea Dhal and Cashew Sauce. I wasn’t going to disagree with that tasty proposition! He has made this dish on a couple of ‘special’ occasions over the years.

Following, are 3 separate recipes.  Combined, they make an impressive, decadent meal.

Green Pea Dhal is delicious with rice as a complete meal in itself. It is a quick and simple dhal recipe, for those occasions when you don’t have time to soak split peas or lentils!

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Mat made the Green Pea Dhal ahead of time, and we had some for dinner. He served it with leftover vegetable and chickpea curry, basmati rice, and pappadams. This recipe makes a large quantity, so there was plenty left over to accompany the Alu Kofta the next day.

The Cashew Sauce is truly delicious. Don’t scrimp on it for this recipe. It really transforms the Alu Kofta into something special 🙂

Cashew sauce is also delicious as a dip with crackers (it thickens with refrigeration), or with steamed broccoli.

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Cashew Sauce

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity – approximately 2 cups

Ingredients –

100g/3.5 oz cashews (soaked for 4 hours)

100g/3.5 oz cashews, chopped into pieces (do not soak)

1/2 knob of garlic, crushed or chopped (ie. 4-5 cloves)

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional, or to taste. Mat used 1/2)

1  Tbsp poppy seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 can coconut cream

1 Tbsp olive oil (or a few splashes of water) for pan frying

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method

1. Process the soaked cashews in a food processor, with 1 Tbsp of the soak water.  Process until a creamy sauce forms. Add more soak water, a tsp at a time, if required.

2. Heat oil (or water) in a fry pan or wok, add the garlic, ginger, and chilli. Stir. Once browned, add the poppy seeds and fennel seeds. Fry for about 30 seconds.

3. Add the chopped cashew pieces and stir well. Cook  for one minute.

4. Add the processed cashew mixture, coconut cream, and salt. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring continuously.

5. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for a couple of minutes.

6. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add water or additional coconut cream.

Store leftover Cashew Sauce in the fridge.

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Green Pea Dhal

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity- Serves 4-6 as a main dish, or 8-10 as a side dish (makes 2 litres).

Ingredients – 

1kg/2.2 pounds of fresh or frozen peas (we use frozen)

1 knob of garlic, chopped (ie. 8-10 cloves)

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional, or to taste. Mat used 1/2)

2 tsp hing (also known as asafoetida)

1 tsp garam masala

1/4 cup coconut cream

2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

Method

1. Pour the frozen peas into a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water to a level of 2cm above the peas. Set the bowl aside while the peas defrost.

2. Fry the garlic and chilli in the oil on a medium heat, in a large fry pan or wok. Once browned, add the garam masala and hing. Mix well. Cook for at least  one minute, stirring continuously. Remove from heat.

3. Once thawed, place the peas and half of the soak water into a food processor. Pulse until water and peas are beginning to combine. Do not over-process. Some of the peas should still be intact.  A ‘mushy’ pea consistency is preferable.

4. Return the fry pan to a medium heat. Add the coconut cream and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1 minute.

5. Add the pea mixture and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer while stirring regularly. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

6. Serve.

***

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Alu Kofta

from: Wolf and Lamb by Marijonas Vilkelis

Quantity – 30 balls. Serves 4-6 (as a side dish, with green pea dhal)

Ingredients – 

4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled

2 tsp olive oil or vegan margarine

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup chopped shallots (spring onions), dill, or coriander (Mat used shallots)

100g/3.5 oz cornflour

Olive oil for deep frying

Method

1. Cut the potatoes into quarters, and place in a saucepan. Cover the potatoes with just enough water to cook them. Add the salt. Bring the water to the boil, then simmer gently until the potatoes are cooked (they are ready when can be pierced with a fork).

 2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and drain off most of the water.

3. Add the oil (or vegan margarine), turmeric, and fennel seeds to the saucepan. Mash the mixture, with a fork or potato masher, until smooth. Allow the saucepan to stand (and cool) for about 15 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled, add the cornflour and shallots. Mix well.

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4. Heat oil in a saucepan until hot (Mat used a small saucepan to reduce the amount of oil required, and fried one or two balls at a time).

5. Form the potato mixture into small balls (about the size of a whole walnut). Place gently into the saucepan and fry until a golden crust has formed.* Place fried kofta balls on paper towels, to soak up some of the excess oil.

6. Optional step – Brown the Alu Kofta balls in a moderate oven, prior to serving. Thanks for the suggestion, Laura 🙂

7. Serve with Green Pea Dhal, Basmati rice, and Cashew Sauce. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

* If the first ball disintegrates when placed into the oil, you will need to add more cornflour to the mixture. (Mat has never had this problem).

To Assemble

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Serve on a large dinner plate. Place Basmati rice next to Green Pea Dhal. Set the Alu Kofta balls on top of the Green Pea Dhal, evenly spaced. Drizzle Cashew Sauce over the Alu Kofta balls. Place mint leaves on top of the rice.

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The next day, Mat and I ate a few leftover Kofta balls. I baked them for 1o minutes in a moderate oven. They were scrumptious smothered in Cashew Sauce.

Each Monday, I feature a couple of delicious vegan recipes that are enjoyed by my own family. I hope your family enjoys them too!

Ally

{Recipe} Cucumber and Nut Cheese Bites | Lime Cheesecake (vegan).

We celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday yesterday.

My sister, my brother-in-law, and my dad’s brother arrived from Sydney to join our family and local friends for the festivities.

We enjoyed lots of delicious food, and I indulged in a couple of drinks. My brother-in-law makes a mean Espresso Martini!

We shared tonnes of laughs. As the evening progressed, we put on our dancing shoes. We sung, we reminisced. The evening will always hold a special place in my memory.

On to the food!

We all pitched in to prepare a scrumptious vegan spread. I made Uberdish’s gluten-free  savoury crepes. They are delicious smeared with non-dairy cream cheese and other dips. I also enjoy them plain.

Savoury crepes

Savoury crepes

Mat made cucumber and nut cheese bites (recipe below).

My mum baked two birthday cakes (both vegan, of course) – Chocolate Cake with Cacao Icing, and Lime Cheesecake (recipe below).

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Delicious finger food

Delicious finger food

Cucumber and Nut Cheese Bites

Ingredients

1/2 continental cucumber (or 1 large Lebanese cucumber)

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered

Nut cheese (recipe below)

Alfalfa sprouts

Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Method
1. Slice cucumber into the desired number of pieces.
2. Smear nut cheese on each piece of cucumber.
3. Top with olives, tomato and sprouts in preferred combinations.

***

nut cheese

Nut Cheese

Adapted from: Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen (Mozarella Cheese).

Ingredients:

1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked overnight)

1 cup raw cashew nuts (soaked overnight)

1 Tbsp soy sauce/tamari OR 2 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 – 1 Tbsp water (optional)

Cashews and macadamia nuts

Cashews and macadamia nuts

Method

1. Add all ingredients, except optional water, to a blender (I use an immersion blender).
2. Blend until all ingredients are smooth. Add additional water if required (I added an additional 1/2 tbsp).

* Use leftover nut cheese on crackers, or as a dip with raw vegies. It complements beautifully this raw pasta dish.

***

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Lime Cheesecake with Soy Whip

My mum is the vegan cheesecake expert in our family. This Lime Cheesecake recipe is the product of two recipes, plus some trial, error and ingenuity.

Incidentally, my mum is well known (in our family at least!) for a delightful dessert known as Upside-Down Cheesecake. The secret method for Upside-Down Cheesecake is to cause the bottom of the springform pan to collapse as you are removing the baked cheesecake from the oven. This takes great skill and timing! Then, salvage the cheesecake that has fallen onto the oven door, and transfer it to a container. Refrigerate. Serve in a bowl, eat with a spoon. Delicious!

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Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the base (adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook) –

125g (4 oz) vegan margarine/butter

200g (7 oz) plain, sweet vegan biscuits, finely crushed

2 tbsp brown sugar

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F, and line a springform tin with baking paper.
2. Melt the margarine in a saucepan, then add the biscuit crumbs. Mix well.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the springform tin. Smooth the top.
5. Refrigerate the base while you prepare the filling.

For the filling (adapted from this recipe by Michael Greger) –

450g/16 oz non-dairy cream cheese

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tsp lime zest

2/3 cup caster sugar

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp cornflour

Method
1. Process the cream cheese in a food processor.
2. Add the caster sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Process again until ingredients are incorporated.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add water and cornflour. Whisk until combined.
4. Add the cream cheese mixture to the mixing bowl, and combine.
5. Remove cake tin from the fridge.
6. Pour filling into cake tin, and smooth the top.
7. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a golden brown skin forms on the top.
8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with homemade non-dairy cream or Soyatoo soy whip.

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Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) – one that is enjoyed by my family (and a few friends). I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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