She-Who-Must-Be-Fed has recently gone a bit nuts about cheese making…macadamia cheese that is. Which of course raises the very reasonable question…how do you milk a macadamia? Answer: using very tiny hands.
In fact she is in the kitchen just now finishing a batch and has just called out “I like making this cheese…its fun!” Of course she doesn’t actually realise that I am in the process of putting up this entry so what is fun is knowing that at some point she’ll come back to check the recipe and find that I just typed her little exclamation in as part of the intro’, and say “Hey!!”.
Back to the cheese; this recipe entry is really just a pointer to Russell James’ ‘the raw chef‘ site, as it is his recipe. It’s just that every time that She-Who-Must-Be-Fed wants to make this cheese, she has to look it up and that requires going to Russell’s site and hunting through it to find the right recipe. Also I thought that all my readers (yes I’m addressing you both) might also be interested in this.
So, click here to find the recipe.
PS. James spells macadamia as ‘macademia’ which perhaps is meant to infer this is a thoughtful and studious recipe.
If you don’t eat anything with a face nor anything that comes from something with a face then you can end up eating a lot of tomato based Italian food. How much? A LOT. The default meal cooked by a restaurant “chef” who couldn’t be bothered spending 3.764 minutes finding a decent vegan recipe is “Pasta in a tomato sauce, with whatever vegetables need to be used but always capsicum”. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good Spaghetti Bolognese in this house, but sometimes it is nice to have something different when taking the menu to Italia for the night. Something with a creamy sauce rather than a tomato sauce.
But how to dream of cream without playing milkmaid?
Yes…nuts….or to be more specific cashew nuts. Oh yes…
Soak raw cashews in water and then blend them and you get…cashew cream; another one of those unlikely little transformations that make cooking a joy. Cashew cream is a great base for cream based recipes whether sweet or savoury.
So…Vieni con me in cucina con i vostri anacardi e faremo una bella cena insieme (*)
Portate con voi (abbastanza per due)
- 1/2 cup of raw cashews
- half a dozen or so medium sized mushrooms, quartered
- your choice of: green beans, asparagus, broccoli spears, fresh peas, broad beans or whatever something green you like. In any case you want about an equal amount as you have of mushrooms. Chop into stir-fry type pieces
- one small onion, cut into large rings or quartered and separated.
- two cloves of garlic, minced
- a TBSP of light miso paste
- about two TSP of chopped, fresh rosemary
- about 1/4 of a cup of chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley
- one bay leaf
- 2 TSPN of ground pepper (this may seem excessive but the cream sauce dulls the heat a lot)
- one cup of white wine
- olive oil
- penne – use gluten free if desired (however much you think you’ll need; some people like a lot of pasta, some not so much. Go on…make a decision on your own)
- Before getting to the rest of the “method” – don’t forget to cook the pasta as per the manufacturer’s recommendation, timing the pasta to be ready whenever the following is done. Helpful tip: The steps related to making the creamed cashews, and mixing it into the saucy, wine mix can be done ahead of time, making it all much easier to get the timing right.
- Firstly, soak the cashews in water. Best to use freshly boiled water; cover the nuts and leave them for at least three hours. Oops!! You didn’t read this until it was WAY too late to leave them for 3 hours! Panic not and do what everyone else does…cheat. Put the nuts and water into a small, covered pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Regardless of how you got there…drain the nuts afterwards, retaining the water.
- To cream the cashews: place the soaked nuts in a Bamix Wet and Dry Processor or similar. You could use any food processor of course but something small like the aforementioned will work best as you’re not doing a high volume of material. Add a little of the water and blend until a fluffy, smooth and absolutely-no-solid-bits consistency is achieved. Keep adding a bit more of the water as needed, as you go along. If you run out of the reserved water just use some extra. Once done…put aside.
- In a small pot very lightly sauté the garlic and ground pepper in some olive oil. As soon as it is aromatic add the wine, the miso, the bay leaf, rosemary and half of the parsley. Dissolve the miso then continue to lightly simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat. Add the creamed cashews and mix thoroughly.
- In a heavy fry pan sauté the onion in some more olive oil until clear.
- Add the mushrooms and whatever green vegetables you decided on into the pan with the onion. Cook until just done – it is nice when the vegetables retain some crispness.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat and add the sauce to the vegetables along with the rest of the parsley and mix thoroughly. You will notice that the creamed cashew mix thickens somewhat when added to the hot pan; add a little more water to thin the mix if desired.
- Serve over the pasta.
(* this may or may not translate as “Come with me to the kitchen with your cashews and we will make a beautiful dinner together”)
When SheWhoMustBeFed and I first started eating quinoa, many moons ago, we had never heard it pronounced, only read it. So for an embarrassingly long period of time we pronounced it “kwin-oh-a”. I can’t recall whether our verbal fumblings were ever met with a knowingly condescending smile; probably not as it wasn’t anywhere near as popular as it is now, so in all likelihood we never came across anyone who knew any better than we did. At some point we learned of our mistake and in a scene earily prescient of this we said to each other “Oh, it’s kinwah, not kwin-oh-a. Honestly being vegan is a nightmare. It’s no wonder we don’t have any friends.”
Now of course we are infinitely cleverer and wiser than before, because not only do we know how to pronounce quinoa, we also know that cranberries aren’t meant to be sweet. For a time we lived in that wide, wild and wacky land The Yoonited States of A-merica where cranberries are always sweet, and cranberry juice tastes like a large bottle of deeply purple sugar. In actual fact drinking a glass of natural, unadulterated cranberry juice has an affect something like sticking the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner into your mouth. All the spit in your mouth will instantly disappear, your cheeks will suck in tight, and once you’ve managed again to draw breath you will say “Well, that was a little sourer than I expected.” In this recipe, try to use dried unsweetened cranberries if you can get them. Sweetened works OK, but in our humble (cleverer and wiser) opinion, the tartness of dried, unsweetened cranberries will do it more justice.
Credit: This recipe came from elsewhere. I’d like to say where, but all I can tell you is that it has been cut out of a magazine and stuck into SheWhoMustBeFed’s recipe scrapbook. It was probably an American magazine, as the recipe called for “cilantro” as opposed to “coriander”. So, credit to the original creator and also the publisher of the magazine which printed it on a green page sometime.
- 3 1/2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
- 1 bunch shallots, finely sliced
- 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup of coriander
- 3/4 cup of finely sliced celery
- 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Boil the water, add the quinoa, stir and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft (approx. 25 minutes, but keep an eye on it)
- Lightly toast the pecans
- Once the quinoa is cooked, allow to cool to room temperature, then combine everything except for the pecans in a large serving bowl.
- Ideally, allow to sit and stew for an hour before serving at room temperature. Stir the pecans through just before serving so they are still a bit crunchy.
This’ll bring a lively dash of colour to the table, and elsewhere too the next day. The Bevski made it for us on Christmas Day, so it probably won’t taste nice, even though it does. Tinned beetroot just ain’t gonna do here, as they will already have been preserved in salt and vinegar. If you have a pressure cooker use that for the beets, as cooking them in a normal pot takes a tedious spell of time.
- 500g beetroot (weight not including the stalks)
- 500g punkyin (or use pumpkin if you like)
- 250g green beans
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 cup of pine nuts
- caramelized or otherwise very thick and yummy blasamic vinegar (or use balsamic vinegar instead)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the making:
- Pressure cook/boil the beetroot until just soft, and slip off the skins under cold water. Discard the cooking water; The Bevski say’s it is very good for the vegie garden once cool.
- Chop the cooked beets into large wedges
- Meanwhile chop the punkyin into large chunks, brush with oil and roast
- Halve the peeled onion at the ‘equator’, then slice each half into four even chunks. Along with the crushed garlic (and optional salt and pepper) saute until onion is clear.
- Blanch the trimmed beans; aiming to have them still crispy. Flush thoroughly with cold water after removing them from the heat to stop them from continuing to cook.
- Combine everything into a large bowl, drizzle with the blasamic vinegar and sprinkle it all with the pine nuts.
- Serve, ensuring you tell everyone “This won’t taste nice” (don’t worry – it will)
The Larger Loinfruit polished off nine of these together with a salad for dinner, and had to be dissuaded from stealing a tenth off the plate of the Smaller Loinfruit, who isn’t as keen on them and who would have been happy to foist one off his plate if he could have got away with it.
These balls cook to a lovely light golden colour, however their popularity meant there were none left to pose for the camera so you’ll just have to take The VegHead’s word for it. Perhaps next time the potato paparazzi will be in town.
All well as keeping Larger Loinfruit fed, these are a good grown up party finger food, and can be made and refrigerated ahead of time and placed into the oven 20 minutes before you need them.
When you roll the balls, aim for a bit smaller than a squash ball.
The following makes about 12 balls, depending on how large you make them.
You will need:
- 1 large potato; peeled, boiled and mashed
- 1/2 cup of cooked butter beans (or haricot)
- 1/4 cup of finely ground roasted cashews (not salted variety)
- 1 slice of wholemeal bread, finely crumbed
- pinch of black pepper
- pinch of cumin powder
- 1 fine slice of red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
Get all dressed up and go to the Potato and Bean Ball:
- No black tie required, but roll up your sleaves and make sure someone is around afterward to turn on the tap so you can wash your hands
- Lightly saute the onion and garlic in olive oil
- Mash all ingredients together
- Knead lightly until mixture binds fairly well
- Form into evenly sized balls
- Grease a baking tray lightly with olive oil
- Lightly brush each ball with same oil
- Bake in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes
This recipe is courtesy of SheWhoMustBeFed
Warning – these are not in fact vegan, as they contain honey. You could swap the honey for maple syrup if you wanted. Though we can’t attest to the affect that might have on consistency or flavour – but maple syrup is yummy so it should be lovely.
These are truly moreish. Eat one…and you’ll want more, more, more…oh dear you’ve split in half.
You will need:
- 250g pack of almonds
- honey (or not)
- cashew butter or peanut butter
- dessicated coconut
The way of making the balls:
- Roast the almonds, probably for about 15 minutes or so, at a moderate temperature.
- Allow to cool slightly, and grind to a medium grind with a food processor. Get a dessertspoon and get as much honey as you can get on it and add to the almonds. Repeat.
- Using the same spoon (or a clean one if you’re really fussy), take your nut butter and do exactly the same as you did with the honey, including the repeat.
- So now you have ground almonds with 2 big spoons of honey and 2 big spoons of nut butter.
- The mixture needs to be combined and will be quite sticky, so you need adequately strong wrists. Remember to roll up your sleaves before you start or you’ll need to call out to a friend to help you do so afterwards.
- Roast some of the dessicated coconut for rolling. This will burn very quickly once it starts to roast so you need to watch it. The dessicated coconut should be fairly finely ground. If it is a coarse grind then make it just a bit finer with a bit of a go in the food processor. Keep the coconut handy in a bowl.
- Form the almond mixture into balls about an inch or so in diameter, but you can make them whatever size you like really. Roll each ball in the roasted coconut.
- Store any that may be left in the fridge……if they last that long.