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.

Chocolate Nut Granola

Chocolate Nut GranolaI’m the kind of person who can eat the same thing every single day for as long as it takes for me to get sick of it. When I find something that works, I tend to call it a day and will find myself making it over and over until something else grabs my attention. I just like the simplicity of having a routine and not having to spend too much time thinking about what I’ll make.

For a while, every day my breakfasts were green smoothies with a piece of peanut butter toast and my lunches were BBQ tofu tacos – dinners are usually where I get some variety. Since I’ve been in Korea, my breakfasts most days are granola with soy milk and my lunches are usually eggs on toast. Boring but happy, that’s me!

DSC_3006I had been buying a Quaker’s granola at Costco, but it’s a bit too sweet and since I haven’t been going to Costco that often, I needed another option. Back in April 2013 when Elise posted that she’d been eating nut granola for breakfast every morning, I was intrigued and made a mental note to make it myself. Finally this morning I did, and already I’m a total goner.

This stuff isn’t overly sweet and has a nice hint of salt, which I love. I made it according to this recipe from Delighted Momma but with only 1/2 cup of coconut oil as opposed to the full cup that she calls for. Even then, I could probably cut down the amount a little more. I didn’t roast my nuts or bake my granola because I don’t have an oven, but even so I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s filling and absolutely delicious. I ate it with some plain yogurt and am going to try it with soy milk tomorrow for breakfast. I have a feeling I will definitely be making this again. And again, and again, knowing me.

DSC_3010-editSpeaking of delighted mamas, I am especially happy for my own today. She has worked so hard for the last few months getting my childhood home ready to sell, and happily it sold almost instantly, for more than expected, to a lovely young family who cried when they heard it was theirs. We are all really happy. My younger sister laughed and called me a hippie yogi when I said that it felt like there was a lot of good energy involved: that maybe the buyers could sense the love and laughter of our house, and that it’s so nice that we are passing it off to a young family the way ours was when we moved in. But that’s how it seems. It’s a good thing. (Anyways, I think she secretly loves that I’m a hippie yogi and I love that she’s practical and down-to-earth.) I wish I could have been there celebrating with them in the kitchen I grew up in, but since I couldn’t be, I’m thankful for the magic of FaceTime. Happy days!

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetOnce again, the recipe for this delicous granola is here.

White Bean Garlic Dip and Homemade Tortillas

GPG TortillasI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today with the recipe for a delicious white bean garlic dip I threw together last week. It wound up being so yummy I just had to share it! No doubt it can be improved upon (my tiny Korean kitchen, while growing, is still not completely stocked) but it was the perfect addition to some light, fresh veggie wraps.

The same day, I made tortillas by hand for the first time. At the risk of sounding like a complete and total loser: it was so much fun! Not only did I feel like a domestic goddess extraordinaire, but the tortillas were so tasty and came out perfectly. I was following a recipe from Oh She Glows (all of her recipes are always awesome) using regular flour instead of the spelt flour she recommends.

You would have laughed to see me – I was covered from head to toe in flour, rolling out tortillas using my water bottle then whipping around to drop them into my little frying pan, doing a little dance back and forth the whole time. But it was fun. So far, my 24 before 24 list has been feeding me well – literally and figuratively!

Check out the recipe (and some other ideas for what to put in these tortillas) here!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cups

20140415-152642.jpgI’m over at Guinea Pigging Green today sharing a recipe for homemade, raw, and vegan peanut butter cups! I’ve already eaten four from the batch today, so it’s lucky they’re rather small.

These peanut butter cups are pillowy, naturally sweetened, nutty, and delicious. They’re a great little sweet treat and miraculously I was able to make them in my tiny Korean apartment without a real mixing bowl (I used a shallow bowl I got when I bought strawberries off the street), or a muffin tin (I used an empty plastic egg carton), or an oven (they’re raw)!

It felt good to mix ingredients up in a bowl, to use strong cinnamon, and to take food photos in a new space with new light. Baking while photographing the process is one of my favourite things to do but I always seem to forget how much I love it until I’m doing it again. Today I was reminded that I can always make good things happen for myself, even in a small space in a foreign country. It comforts me to think that as long as I have peanut butter and a wooden spoon, I can feel like I’m home. 

Check out the recipe here!