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.
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