Tag Archives: virtual vegan potluck

Apples with Roasted Beet Tartare, Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

When I heard that this month’s Virtual Vegan Potluck featured ingredient was beets. I went against every instinct I had and signed up to bring an appetizer that uses beets. I don’t eat beets often. I don’t cook beets. And I rarely make appetizers. What can I say. I like a challenge.

But I do enjoy eating beets. That has to count for something right? My experience with beets growing up is all canned. So this month was the month of learning how to cook beets. Not to mention learning how to handle beet “blood”. Oh yeah, when dealing with beets….there will be beet “blood”. Just imagine Daniel Day Lewis saying that.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

What I’ve learned is that beets don’t need a lot of finessing. They have a great rich and earthy taste on their own. I’ve also learned to use parchment paper when cutting beets. Because beet blood on a wood cutting board is a nightmare. But beet stained hands aren’t that bad. Sure, I could use gloves. But having beet stained hands is somewhat satisfying to me.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

This appetizer is a deconstructed beet and apple salad (without the salad-y part). Fresh, tart slices of granny smith apples are topped with creamy cashew cheese and roasted beets coated with a sweet lemon dressing. It’s all sprinkled with crunchy, candied walnuts and chopped chives.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

All the goodies are on one end of the apple slice. The other end is for holdin’. I like to eat it all in one bite so all the flavors and contrasting textures meld together. But making it a two-bite deal works also.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Even though there are multiple components to this app, it came together easily because I made the components in advance. So all I had to do was assemble it before you guys came over. It can be served cold or at room temp (my preference).

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad

Adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes about 25-30 apple slices.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beets, roasted and peeled (I used this method)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tbs maple syrup (for walnuts) + 1 1/2 tbs maple syrup (for beets)
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice + extra for dipping apple slices
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 cup cashew cheese
  • handful of chives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Directions

Toss the walnuts with the 1 tbs of maple syrup, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 400F for 5 minutes (I did this when I roasted the beets to save oven power). Take them out and give them a shake and put in for another 4-5 minutes. Let them cool and then store in an air tight container if not using it right away.

Cut the roasted beets into small cubes and put in a mixing bowl. Make the beet dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice and the 1 1/2 tbs of maple syrup together. I put it all in a little jar and shake it up. Coat the beet cubes with about HALF of the sweet lemon dressing. Save the other half for drizzling over the finished serving plate.

Slice the apples into pieces that are about 1/4 inch thick. Then cut those slices in half so you have bite-size pieces as shown. Dip both sides of the apple pieces in a small bowl of lemon juice mixed with a little water to prevent them from browning.

Now it’s time to assemble. I put about 1/2 tbs of cashew cheese on the end of each apple piece, followed by some beet cubes and then a sprinkling of crushed candied walnuts and chives. When plating, drizzle more of the dressing on top.

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

I was worried that the beet juices would drip everywhere making this a nightmarish appetizer. But the juices just kinda settled into the thick creamy cashew cheese.  But don’t worry if you spill a little. Because that’s how we roll in this house (aka, the pups will eat it up).

Deconstructed Apple and Beet Salad with Cashew Cheese and Candied Walnuts - Luminous Vegans

Hungry for more? If you just happenstanced on this post, there is so much more vegan food to be had. Go back and check out what Cadry is serving over at Cadry’s Kitchen.

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Or hop on forward to Ashley’s place at A Cook in the Making.

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Or start from the very beginning (at Vegan Bloggers Unite) and work your way through 100+ delectable vegan beverages, appetizers, salads, side dishes, main dishes and desserts!

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Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

 Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to cook and eat them?

Sweet Potato Salad with Tangy Ancho Chili Sauce (Virtual Vegan Potluck)

Hey vegan potluckers! We are thrilled to be participating in the third virtual vegan potluck!

One of my favorite dishes is the classic potato salad. But Neal won’t go near it because most versions have vegan mayo in them and he detests mayo. Even if the potato salad is mayo-less, he won’t go near it because he associates it with mayo. Challenge accepted! IMG_5164 _Snapseed

This potato salad is a twist on the classic version. Instead of russet and/or red potatoes, I used sweet potatoes.
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And instead of the classic mayo, onions and pickle relish mixture, I used Mexican inspired ingredients like dried Ancho chili, cilantro, lime juice, harissa (technically, this ingredient is Moroccan)IMG_5127 _Snapseed

and black beans.IMG_5161 _Snapseed

The tangy sauce is cashew based and comes out nice and creamy but not in a mayo kind of way. IMG_5156 _Snapseed

Sweet Potato Salad with Tangy Ancho Chili Sauce

Ingredients (approximates)

  • 4-5 medium to large peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 tbs chopped dried ancho chili
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 2 1/2 tbs lime juice (+ a couple of splashes at end)
  • 3/8 cup of water
  • 14.5 oz can of rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Boil sweet potatoes until tender (about 5-7 minutes in boiling water). You want them tender but not too tender that they turn to mush. Drain and let cool.
  2. In a small blender or food processor (I used the small cup with my magic bullet), pulse the garlic, salt and ancho chili.
  3. Add the raw cashews and blend until it’s powdery/pastey.
  4. Add the olive oil, harissa, lime juice and water and blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, add the sweet potatoes, black beans, cilantro and all the sauce. Gently fold ingredients until the sauce is incorporated.
  6. At this point, I tasted it and ended up mixing in a few more splashes of lime juice (to up the tang factor) as well as some salt, pepper and more harissa.

This salad is great warm or cold, by itself or inside a tortilla! If you want it more spicy, add more ancho chili. It is super tasty and best of all, it passes the Neal test. Finally. A potato salad that he will eat!

IMG_5193 _SnapseedStill hungry? There are more good vegan eats in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. Click the button below to see the dish before mine by Farmer’s Market Vegan.

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Click this button to see the dish after mine by The Vegan Gypsy.

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Or if you’re just joining in, click below to start from the beginning with our gracious host, Vegan Bloggers Unite.

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Happy virtual eating!

Virtual Vegan Potluck

Hey-o! How’s the virtual vegan potluck (November edition) going? We hope you’re not too stuffed yet to enjoy what we have made here at luminous vegans!

Today we are veganizing a butternut squash lasagna recipe from the food network. Veganizing it was quite simple. We subbed almond milk for the dairy milk, Daiya for the cheese and Earth Balance for the butter and we didn’t use parm.

The first step is to simmer the butternut squash with salt and pepper.

Next, we blended it up with cookies. Instead of amaretti cookies, we used vegan oatmeal cookies.

A creamy sauce was made next with almond milk, flour, Earth Balance, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Half of this was blended with some basil…

and then reincorporated.

Then we built us some lasagna using no-boil noodles.

Lasagna noodles first, then butternut squash

then some Daiya

then some creamy-basil sauce…we repeated this layering several times and topped the whole thing with more cheese.

Ours was a little flat because our pan was a little big, but the taste was not flat at all! It was an all out  flavor explosion in my mouth! I do love butternut squash and all things creamy. I am looking forward to having these leftovers again tonight.

Are you just jumping in to the virtual vegan potluck? You can go to the very beginning of the potluck by visiting our gracious host over at Vegan Bloggers Unite.

Visit the dish before ours by clicking the button below:

See what comes after our dish by clicking the button below:

Have fun!