This is one of those things that Dan and I would normally eat during the week but after dinner out last night I didn’t want a big elaborate and heavy meal. So … I opted for salad with a few “toasts” topped with nut cheese and red pepper pesto.
The salad was a simple veggie salad tossed with a creamy artichoke and raw cashew dressing. I didn’t actually measure the ingredients so I will give you the method instead. In the blender I combined about 2/3 cup of raw cashews with a 7 or 8 frozen and defrosted artichoke hearts to this I added a big pinch of grey salt and little Dijon. I buzzed this in the blender and added water until it was a consistency I liked. Then I tossed the baby spinach with as much dressing as was necessary and topped it with: marinated artichoke hearts, orange bell pepper strips, marinated mushrooms, sliced grape tomatoes, chick peas and cucumber.
To accompany the salad I made another batch of the panelle and polenta hybrid “toasts”. I made them essentially the same but spread the entire mixture in a half sheet pan and baked it all in a low oven (250) until it was done. Be certain to line the pan with silpat or parchment or they will be tough to remove.
To go on top of the “toasts” I made a nut cheese and a red pepper pesto. The pesto was another one of those toss things in the food processor recipe. I drained two roasted red pepper and put those in the food processor until they were fine. The mixture appears too “wet” so I added a couple of dehydrated peppers to absorb some of the liquid. You could use sun dried tomatoes and get the same effect. I added some capers, kalamata olives, a peeled garlic clove and lemon zest. Then adjust for seasoning. You may need to add a splash of wine vinegar to wake up the flavor. Refrigerate until needed.
The nut cheese was another experiment. But then again that describes all of my recipes really. I wanted to see what would happen if I added raw pumpkin seeds to the nut cheese. Here is what I did:
Macadamia Nut and Raw Pumpkin Seed Cheese
Makes approximately 26 ounces or 52 tablespoons
2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked at least 4 hours and drained
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked at least 4 hours and drained
1 tablespoon white miso, or to taste
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 ½ teaspoons grey salt, or to taste
½ cup almond milk, unsweetened, or what is necessary to get the texture you want
Process the nuts and seeds until ground. Add the miso, garlic, salt and a tablespoon of the almond milk (or water) and continue to process. Add the almond milk a little at a time until you like the texture of the nut cheese. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.
Nutritional Information (per tablespoon):
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 47.71
Calories From Fat (84%) - 39.91
Total Fat - 4.77g
Saturated Fat - 0.78g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 68.71mg
Potassium - 36.05mg
Total Carbohydrates - 1.15g
Fiber - 0.54g
Protein - 0.89g
Adding pumpkin seeds doesn’t change the texture of the nut cheese. It does give the cheese a little bit of a light green hue. But the flavor is good. It is different from the version I made with pine nuts but we like this one just as well. Next time I may combine all three (mac, pine and pumpkin) in a cheese just to see how that works out. One thing I have learned is that any nuts can be used to make a nice vegan cheese. I still love the almond feta I have been making for a year. It takes much longer, but it is good. If I remember I will try to make a raw version of that soon.
The little “toasts” with nut cheese and red pepper pesto were well received as was the salad. The parental units never stop amazing me. I think they seem to forget that my food is vegan. Or maybe they are just ignoring it, I don’t really know which. They ate the salad (without oil) without a word. Will wonders never cease?
Late this evening we decided to run a few errands, including a quick trip to Wegman’s for provisions. I still don’t know what I am making tomorrow but I bought the following: savoy cabbage, kale, zucchini, ginger, cilantro, Italian parsley, dill, jalapenos, maitake mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, low fat coconut milk, sesame seeds, golden raisin and miso. How that translates into dinner I don’t know but it looked good so in the cart it went. It will be interesting to see what I finally make.
When we were at Wegman’s we ran into our buddy Walid. Now it wasn’t odd when we ran into him at the local grocery store since he lived a block away from us. But he and Jackie recently moved and there he was at the store again. He wants us to come to dinner at the new house next Saturday. The brave man has offered to cook us an Egyptian dinner. We are so hard to cook for I wish he wouldn’t but he is insisting on cooking. It will be fun and I hope he doesn’t have to work too hard to make things we eat.
That is it for tonight. I will be back tomorrow with whatever I happen to make for dinner. I hope you are all having a good holiday weekend.