Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vegan Love

I'm one of the few restaurants in town that go out of my way to serve vegetarians and vegans. Typically they are able to get a sauteed vegetable pasta or a hearty salad, but there's so much more than that. One of my recent favorites is cashew cheese.

Not really cheese per se, but a simple little concoction that serves as a base for many other items. Take enough cashews to half fill your food processor. Add any seasonings that you like - I've tried Indian, Southwest, Jamaican and a few others, then add boiling water, slowly, until you get a thick slurry. Don't over-process so the cheese has some texture. Taste, adjust and then let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the moisture to absorb into the nuts.

Next you can either use it as a filling (think samosa, egg roll) or shape it into a ball and coat it. And finally fry or bake fry. The salad above is our current vegetarian/vegan option - a Thai seasoned cashew cheese, fried, served on local organic greens with fresh mango and a sweet and sour vegetarian fish sauce.


Lois B said...

Thanks for sharing this. My vegetarian daughter is leaning toward vegan, and it really has me stumped for ideas. I'll have to give this a try.

SharleneT said...

I'm with LoisB. My daughter has made the full transition to vegan and Thanksgiving was quite a special day, as I wrote in my blog. I love this idea and will certainly pass it on to her, but at the price of cashews, it won't be that often that I serve it. Can you do the same thing with peanuts? Or, acorns? I love to collect my acorns and wonder if they wouldn't be interchangeable with cashews. Absolutely adore what you do with food. Come visit when you can

Gfron1 said...

You can certainly try it with any nuts. The great thing about cashews is they are fairly neutral flavor and a bit sweet, so easy to impart flavor with some salt. Peanuts are very peanutty so you would have to stick to certain cuisines I think, and acorns would need to be nuetralized enough, but certainly do try.