Would you like a recipe that can, in one fell swoop, transition you joyfully to a more plant-based diet? Cashew cream just might be that recipe. It is a fantastic vegan substitute for dairy cream and creamy cheeses like ricotta or cream cheese. It makes a killer alfredo sauce for over vegetables. It is absolutely divine in a lasagna, as a whole or partial substitute for ricotta. Best of all, it is very very easy to make (though you do need to soak the nuts overnight).
Whip up a batch and you’ll see what I mean.
Cashew Cream Recipe
- 1 cup raw cashews
- water for soaking
- 1/2-3/4 c additional water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- salt & pepper
Soak cashews in water overnight. Drain and rinse. Place all ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth and the desired consistency is reached. Use less water if you are aiming for a thicker cheesier consistency, and more water if you are aiming for a creamier consistency.
Variations: add garlic, ginger, scallions or other herbs and spices to taste.
My Ayurvedic brothers and sisters may balk at a raw lemony kale salad (though acid in lemons does “cook”) in winter, but how much I love this salad in this season reminds me that we do need to hold food rules more lightly than hard-and-fast. In Ayurveda, winter is the time of warming stews and cooked vegetables, which makes perfect sense. I have found, in my own experimentation of Ayurveda, that tending my constitution with food works best when I enjoy the whole foods I’m drawn to and then use spices to address my constitution.
For all nutritional guidance, each of us is one point on a spectrum for any particular tenet; we will each react a little differently. Ultimately, to find what works for you, when you encounter a guideline that gives you that ping of recognition “this might be good for me!” see how you feel when you really practice it. You might use a food journal to connect what you eat with how you are feeling and reacting. If you are puzzled by the process, happily there is an army of professionals who can help you out (including me).
This salad always bursts with life, color, and nutrition. In this season of sugar, here’s an antidote!
Lemony Kale Salad Recipe
- 1 bunch lacinata kale, sliced thin
- 1/2 orange or red pepper, cubed
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, diced
For the dressing
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 small clove garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar and shake to blend. Place the sliced kale in a bowl, add a few Tbsp of dressing and yes! MASSAGE. Give it a good rub, a good toss. Or, let it sit in the dressing while you do the dishes, draw a bath or otherwise occupy yourself. Then add remaining salad ingredients and the rest of the dressing. Toss and serve.
Peanut Ginger Coconut Spread Recipe
Sometimes you want something a little bit more or a little bit different than peanut butter on your apple. Here’s a spread that is sweet and gingery and delicious – Peanut Ginger Coconut Spread. Use it on fruit, with raw or blanched vegetables, or spread it on your sprouted grain bread in the morning.
Peanut Ginger Coconut Spread Recipe
Sometimes you want something a little bit more or a little bit different than peanut butter on your apple. Here’s a spread that is sweet and gingery and delicious. Use it on fruit, with raw or blanched vegetables, or spread it on your sprouted grain bread in the morning.
- 1/2 cup good quality organic peanut butter - smooth or chunky, your choice
- 6 or 7 ounces Plain Greek yogurt - I used 2%
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup grated coconut unsweetened
Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.
Looking for more easy healthy recipes? I have a whole selection for you!
While we may be having a little taste of what I call winter-summer (it has been freaking freezing this week…I remember we had a summer-winter in the Shire last year), I trust that warm weather is on the way. This is one of my favorite recipes – light, tasty, spicy and perfect for the season. I serve it as a side or main dish, with my current passion – sprouted corn tortillas warmed with a bit of cheese between, quesadilla style.
Summer Black Bean Salsa Recipe
- 1 can (16 oz) black beans (I used Eden brand)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Juice of 2 limes
- Two or three slices of red onion, chopped, makes about 1/4 cup
- 1/4 red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp tobasco sauce
- 1/3 cup cold-pressed EVOO
- Plenty of salt and pepper (to taste)
Could not be easier. Toss and enjoy (this is a recipe that while delicious, can be better the second day due to marinating).
Food fresh from the garden doesn’t need much help to taste great and nourish you deeply. Our fresh peas often don’t make it into the kitchen because we snack away right in the garden. Here’s a simple recipe for snow peas with mint.
Minted Snow Pea Recipe
- Snow peas or fresh spring peas – about 2 cups, cleaned
- Fresh mint, cleaned and chopped
- High-quality olive oil (like CA organic cold-pressed)
- Squeeze of fresh lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Grow peas! Or, locate fresh snow or sweet peas at a farmer’s market or grocery. They are an easy grow, and I love that they are best planted just as soon as the earth is thawed enough to work. So, either pick your own or you can get them at a farmer’s market or grocery (…growing your own is cheaper though more time-intensive, but the benefits are manyfold).
- Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and peas, sauté 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped mint & a squeeze of fresh lemon. Saute another minute.
- Dress with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Tip: the key is not to overcook the peas…literally sauté for just a minute or two to keep that lovely sweetness and crispness. Enjoy!
Here’s a nice thick nutrient-packed vegan red lentil stew or soup for a warm winter infusion of tasty goodness. Coconut and tahini make this rich & satisfying.
Vegan Red Lentil Stew Recipe
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 5-6 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped
- Small bunch organic celery, chopped
- 1 c dry red lentils
- 2.5 c water
- 1/4 c turmeric
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp coconut manna
- 3-4 thumbs-sized piece of fresh ginger, cleaned and chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
Toss onions, carrot and celery into a large stock pot, add olive oil and sauté until vegetables are soft and there’s a smidgen of browning. Add remaining ingredients except parsley, and simmer on low for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and enjoy.