Tag Archives: cashew

Blastin’ off Vegan Mofo with Cashew Cheese

This year’s Vegan Month of Food (or Vegan MoFo) is officially here. If you don’t know what Vegan MoFo is, it’s basically vegan-food-blogging on crack.  Bloggers all over the world commit to posting about vegan food at least 20 times in one month. TWENTY times!! If you’re a blogger, or anyone who has ever felt that there’s not enough time in a day, then you realize how intimidating this can be.

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I wasn’t initially planning on participating but somehow I ended up on the official list.  I have no theme. I have no plan. Unless flyin’ by the seat of my pants is considered a plan. I figure I’ll just do what I normally do but more of it. There. Plan done.

To start off my first EVER official Vegan MoFo post, I thought I would talk about one of my favorite recipes here at Luminous Vegans. One that I go back to all the time because it’s so tasty, easy and versatile…..cashew cheese!

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I’m a big vegan cheese lush but I can’t afford to always have Daiya around.  So I usually keep a batch of this savory cheese spread in the fridge to use throughout the week and it satisfies my cheesy cravings. It can be eaten alone, on bread, with veggies or in other dishes (like mashed cauliflower or stuffed shells).cashew_cheese-4672-2

It’s quick and easy to make and ready to eat right away.  The only part that takes planning is remembering to soak the cashews before hand. It’s softer and more spread-y immediately after blending, but firms up some in the fridge. These pics were taken right after blending it.

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Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups soaked raw cashews, drained (A couple of hours or overnight soaking is best. But it works just as well if you soak it in hot water for 30 minutes and use a high speed blender. I use my Vitamix)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

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 Directions

Throw everything in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Store it in an air tight container for up to a week in the fridge.

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Baked Shells Stuffed with Cheesy Butternut Squash

These baked shells are packed full of creamy, cheesy, herby butternut squash goodness in every bite. This dish is easy to throw together and easy to customize.IMG_5250 _Snapseed

First I preheated the oven to 450 degrees. Then I sliced a whole butternut squash down the middle and de-seeded it. Wash the outside of the butternut squash and nuke it for 3 minutes to make cutting easier.IMG_5202 _Snapseed

I roasted the butternut squash for about 45 minutes (until tender). While it was roasting I prepared the macaroni shells, the big kind used for stuffing. I just followed the directions on the package.IMG_5212 _Snapseed

After the butternut squash got all tender and delicious, I scraped both sides all out into a bowl. I then mixed in 1/2 cup of pre-made cashew cheese (recipe below), a handful of chopped basil and chives and salt and pepper to taste.  You don’t have to use basil or chives, get crazy and try different herbs, use more, use less…don’t use any at all. I used what happened to be in the fridge. You also don’t have to use butternut squash, try pumpkin like I did here.butternut_squash_cheese_mix

Then I stuffed ‘dem shells and placed them in a baking pan. The amount of filling I made stuffed about 12-14 shells. I poured some store-bought marinara sauce over it and baked it at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.pre_bake_shells

And then I stuffed them stuffed shells into my mouth. These were so flippin’ delicious. It’s really the cashew cheese that brings this dish to that next creamy delicious level. The recipe (below) for the cashew cheese is based on Tal Ronnen’s but without having to prepare it for days because I don’t use probiotics.
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Cashew Cheese

  • 2 cups soaked cashews, drained (A couple of hours is best but it works just as well if you only soak it for 20-30 minutes and use a high speed blender)
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs almond milk
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Throw everything in food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Stick it in the fridge and use in meals like above or as a veggie dip or cracker spread.