Vegan Cashew Cheese

Vegan Cashew CheeseHoly yummy, batman! Even though it’s true that I can eat the same thing over and over, lately I’ve been getting bored with what I’ve been eating. That’s part of why I love that I made this resolution to try new recipes: it breaks me out of food ruts and keeps my mind open to different meal ideas. The other part of why I love it, of course, is because the results so far have been very tasty. There’s also a third reason, and that is that I really love cooking and puttering around in the kitchen. It makes me feel industrious and healthier. I love that sentiment from Michael Pollan: “Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.” I’ve been trying to embrace that more lately.

Oh Dear Drea is a blog that makes vegan living look easy. I was opening browser tabs like crazy yesterday, getting so much inspiration for delicious, easy vegan food. I had a huge bag of cashews in my kitchen, so I decided that this cashew cheese recipe would be the first one I’d try. Despite making a few changes to her original recipe, it still turned out great.

Vegan Cashew Cheese 2Cashew Cheese

Adapted from Oh Dear Drea

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in a bowl of water for 1+ hours
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • Herbs

Soak the cashews for an hour or more. Drain them but save the water. Blend together all your ingredients, adding spoonfuls of cashew water until you reach your desired consistency (like a queso sauce). I forgot to pick up lemons so I substituted apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice the original recipe called for. Next time I’ll try with lemons and nutritional yeast because I know that would make it that much more delicious.

20140617-152044.jpgI’d treated myself to a garlic baguette (my first baguette since arriving in Korea!) after my run this morning, and loved eating some pieces of it with this yummy sauce. I think this would be great on a vegan pizza, like it was suggested in the original post. I’m excited to use it in veggie wraps and tacos too! Really it seems like you could just throw it on just about anything. The recipe makes a lot, almost a cup full, so I’m looking forward to discovering all the possibilities.

Yum! Dig in, friends.

Martha’s Macaroni-and-Cheese

It’s summer! Despite the rain, and dreary skies, and the chill in the air, it’s still technically summer and I couldn’t be happier. This will be my second summer in Montreal, and I can’t wait for it to really start. Everyone was moving in and out of apartments yesterday, but I’m staying in my little apartment another year. I’m hoping to do a few touch-ups here and there, but overall I love my place like crazy.

Since I had 2 exams Monday, I didn’t get my act together on the blog. Don’t worry – I’ll make up for it from here on out. I have a couple of great things to share, as well as a brand new project that I’m working on, which is going to be totally awesome. Stay tuned for that!

Today, it’s a mac-and-cheese kind of day where I am. It’s rainy. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s blah. I made this mac-and-cheese a couple weeks ago, but boy am I wishing I had a bowl right now. I made it right this time: making sure I had all the right ingredients (not just winging it with what I had in my fridge), used real butter, baked it in my Grandma’s casserole dish, tore up baguette for the top, and felt like a regular Martha! For me, the key was the chewy bread “crumbs” – they added a really nice texture that contrasts with the softness of the pasta. I really can’t see myself making any other mac-and-cheese recipe ever again. Except if I’m lazy and just make it from the box!

I used Deb’s recipe, which is adapted from Martha Stewart’s famous recipe. There are many adaptations, but it’s all the same really: lots of butter, lots of cheese, lots of pasta. Carbs. A lot of carbs. I ended up using the Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Gruyere, mostly because I’m a cheapskate and Gruyere is more expensive. My mac-and-cheese was delicious with Romano, as I’m sure it would have been with Gruyere. But just in case you’re a cheapskate like me, go with the Romano and it’ll still taste super-duper.

My favourite part was piling all the sort-of-al-dente pasta into the pan with the cheese sauce. I just think it looks awesome. How do they do that? How do they make tiny little macaroni noodles so perfect? I left it like this for a few seconds before stirring it all in together. By the way, the cheese sauce is out of bounds. If you wanted to stop and dip some leftover baguette into it and eat a bunch of it, I would not judge you. I would understand you.

But it’s worth it to wait until there is pasta and bread involved, until it’s been baked, until there’s a glass of fruit punch (sadly, that’s not red wine, though I wish it had been!) in your hand and you’re ready for a beautiful lunch. Comfort food, for real.

Do you love macaroni-and-cheese? What recipe do you normally follow? Or what brand do you like out of the box? Happy eats, folks!

Baked Egg Boats

I’ve learned so many things from Pinterest. I’ve learned how to transport cupcakes, how to fill a piping bag in the most mind-blowing way, how to keep earphone cords from tangling, how to get sand off your legs, how to keep an apple from browning.

I’ve been inspired by travel photos, gotten excited about clothes, and stumbled upon more beautiful-looking recipes than I know what to do with (I made THREE different boards to deal with all the food I’m inspired by..do I have a problem?).

If you’re not using Pinterest, what are you wasting your time on instead? {Let me know in the comments if you want an invite!}

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Shoshy’s Stuffed Shells

The first time I ate this dish, I wasn’t even done my first bite before I was scribbling down the recipe and asking clarifying questions with my mouth full of cheese and tomatoes.

The first time I served this dish, my apartment smelled like heaven, my guest was floored/impressed/hungry, and we drank white wine, ate raspberry crumble and watched Glee until the cows came home.

This is my friend Shosh’s delicious, simple, indulgent recipe. Thanks Shosh! :)

Oh stuffed shells, how much do I love you? Let me count the ways.

  1. You are easy peasy.
  2. You impress people with little-to-no effort made on my part.
  3. You smell heavenly.
  4. You contain four types of cheese: mozzarella, cheddar, goat and cottage.
  5. You are absolutely positively one of the most delicious things I have ever consumed.

So if I have convinced you that this food must be put into your gullet at the earliest possible convenience, READ ON young foodies and be amazed, astonished, delighted, full.

Preheat that oven to 350!!

Ingredients:

  • Jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 package of goat’s cheese
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & peppa!

For the sauce:

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil and goat cheese in a large saucepan. Stir together on medium heat until the cheese is melted and the sauce is a even consistency. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

For the shells:

Cook the shells like you would any other pasta – in boiling water with a bit of salt. I used an 8×8 glass baking dish, and I was able to squeeze in about 25 shells. Depending on the size of your dish you may want to cook more or less shells. Once they’re cooked, let them cool while you prepare the filling. Combine the grated cheese, cottage cheese and eggs (beaten). Put 1/2 the sauce on the bottom of the dish. Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture, and place them in the pan. Add the rest of the sauce on top. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 for about an hour.

And voila! Delicious, easy, impressive. Serve it to your friends and listen to them gush over your food. Experience a slight ego boost. :)

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo,