Cooked: Quinoa Mac n’ Smoked Cashew Cheese

It’s been awhile. I know. I’m putting myself in time out actually. It’s been far too long since my last post so I’m going to try and make up for some lost time and post a few recipes this week! Here’s the first one and it’s something I adapted after tasting the baked artichoke macaroni at one of my favorite vegan restaurants here in Brooklyn; M.O.B. It has this yummy creamy smokey cheese with pecans and a side of broccolini. Such a comfort meal and very satisfying! M.O.B. doesn’t use the quinoa macaroni that I prefer. I like to go with quinoa since it’s gluten free and makes me feel like I ate a healthy grain. So here we go…

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Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz box of quinoa elbow pasta cooked according to directions (you can use shells, rotini, etc if you prefer!)
  • 1/2 lb of broccolini 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (grade A or B)
  • a few handfuls of pecans
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Smoked Cashew Cheese (see below)

Smoked Cashew Cheese:

Combine the following in a high speed blender, except Olive Oil and blend while adding Olive Oil slowly to the moving blender. Add water to create the desired cheesy consistency.

  • 1 Cup Cashews (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours)
  • 1/3 Bell Pepper (yellow, orange or red)
  • A nice big pinch of smoked salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
  • Water, as needed

Directions:

In a pan on medium heat add some olive oil and sliced broccolini, cooking for 5-8 minutes until bright green and semi soft.

Mix pecans with maple syrup and spread on a nonstick parchment sheet and bake in oven for 5 minutes at 350. Careful not to overcook as this will begin to burn and smoke up your kitchen if you leave it in too long.

Add smoked cheese to cooked elbow macaroni and mix well. Serve with the candied maple pecans on top and grilled broccolini on the side. Enjoy!

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Cooked: Spicy Udon & Veggies

spicynoodles

I absolutely love this dish! Anything spicy and savory with an Asian flare is right up my alley. This yummy noodle concoction has become a staple in my home although I’m always shifting the ingredients a little here or there, adding a different veggie or using a different type of noodle. Feel free to make this “your own”. Typically I’ll use Soba noodles for this, but today I’ve made it with organic Udon noodles and it turned out fabulously! It’s very simple to make as it’s basically just three components: noodles, sauce, veggies.

Spicy Almond Butter Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw organic almond butter
  • 1/4 cup nama shoyu, tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce (or less if you prefer)
  • several Tbs water to even out the mixture

Noodles:

  • One 12.8 oz package of Organic Udon noodles (You may also use rice noodles or Soba)

Vegetables:

  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/3 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced green onion
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow squash
  • 2 tbs minced fresh ginger

For the sauce combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. The sauce should be on the thick side. Cook noodles according to the directions on the package. For preparing the vegetables, add sesame oil to a medium pan under medium heat then add in chopped broccoli and diced red pepper. Shift the veggies around frequently for a few minutes and then add in the green onion and yellow squash (if using). Add in the minced ginger last. Careful not to burn, keep the veggies moving in the pan until cooked as desired. Add the sauce to the noodles, mixing in thoroughly and then add in the vegetables. Garnish with fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil. I also like to add in fresh lime juice at the end… Enjoy!

Cooked: Avocado & Pinto Bean Enchiladas

enchiladas

Enchiladas are one of my favorite comfort foods of all time! My mother made amazing enchiladas when I was growing up and I hadn’t had them in ages as a vegan, until I came across this recipe below! I have doctored it up and changed a few things from the original — but isn’t that what cooking is all about afterall? “Making it yours”. So feel free to take what I’ve done and apply your own alterations, but trust me — this is one mean dish and I always add a bit of hot sauce, I can’t help it!

  • 9 -10 corn tortillas (6 inches each, I used Ezekial corn tortillas)
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, thinly sliced (I chose white onion)
  • 1 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (14 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and patted dry (Pinto beans work nicely, but you can substitute black or kidney)
  • 1/2 c raw cashew pieces
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled and pitted (about 1 – 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 jars (14.5 oz) prepared enchilada sauce (You’ll use about 2 1/2 cups, make sure it’s vegan! I used Frontera brand)
  • 3/4-1 cup vegan cheese, grated (I used cheddar Daiya; optional)
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (optional but recommended)

Preheat oven to 400.  Place tortillas in a 8×12 inch baking dish, cover tightly with aluminium foil, and place in oven to soften for 5-10 minutes while preparing filling.  In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil, onions, chili powder, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Increase heat to medium-high, add mushrooms, beans, and cashews and saute for 5-6 minutes, tossing once to twice.  Immediately toss in lime juice and remove from heat to slightly cool.  In a large bowl, mash avocado and salt – this can be chunky.  Add veggie saute and lightly mix to incorporate.  Remove tortillas from oven, transfer to a plate, and cover with a tea towel to keep warm.  In the same baking dish, pour half of the enchilada sauce evenly over bottom.  Place 1/4-1/3 cup avocado-veggie mixture in center of each tortilla.  Roll tortillas up, tucking in sides as you go, and place seam side down in baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over top, and cover with aluminium foil.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 4-5 minutes, until bubbling around edges.  If adding cheese, sprinkle on after casserole has baked for 15 minutes, then baking uncovered for another 6-7 minutes to melt cheese.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.  Serves 4.

Note: If corn tortillas dry out, re-soften by returning to oven in covered dish (or by coating with some enchilada sauce).