Potato, Bean & Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce

Potato, Bean and Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIndian curry burritos?! You betcha. These knife-and-fork burritos are a tasty change up from the usual Mexican-style we’re all used to. I had a few combination ideas running through my head as I was trying to come up with the recipe . . . potato-zucchini? Lentil-potato? I just couldn’t decide, so I went with it all! Tucked inside the warm tortilla are potatoes, lentils, beans and red onion, topped with a cashew-curry sauce, some sauteed zucchini, green onion and finished with tomatoes and cilantro. Don’t be scared off by the number of ingredients or pans used in this recipe—everything is quite easy to make. (And you’ll be glad you did!)

INGREDIENTS:
1 C green lentils
3 C vegetable broth
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red onion, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes
1 15-oz can tri-bean blend (or black beans), drained and rinsed
Cashew-Curry Sauce
3/4 C cashews
1/2 C water, divided
12.3-oz pkg. silken tofu
1/4 C coconut flakes
1/2 tsp cumin
1-1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
Topping
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 C green onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
The rest
6 Flour tortillas

DIRECTIONS:
Start with preparing the lentils. In a medium sauce pan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. (I like to use Better Than Bouillon brand since I can make as much broth as I need without wasting any.) Stir in the lentils, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 25 minutes. I tasted the lentils when there was still a little liquid left and found that they were done, so I just used a fine strainer and drained the lentils. While they’re cooking though, I cooked the potatoes the microwave—roughly 8 minutes and then set them aside to let them cool. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add the red onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Cut the potatoes into chunks and add them to the skillet, along with the beans. Once the lentils are done, stir them into the potato mixture. I then sprinkled with some cumin and curry powder.

Potato, Bean and Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTo make the sauce, puree the cashews with a 1/4 cup of the water. Next, add the remaining 1/4 cup of water and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend for a good 3-4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat to warm; whisk occasionally.
Potato, Bean and Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIn a small skillet, heat the olive oil and add the zucchini and green onions; saute over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the veggies soften.

Potato, Bean and Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce -- Epicurean VeganYou can stir in the tomatoes and cilantro if you’d like, or keep them separate . To assemble, warm the tortillas in the microwave or steamer. Spread some sauce on the tortilla, add a couple of big scoops of potato filling, roll, then top with a ladle of sauce, some zucchini-green onion mix and some tomatoes and cilantro. So good! Grab a knife, grab a fork and dig in! Enjoy!
Potato, Bean and Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce -- Epicurean Vegan

Potato, Bean & Lentil Burritos with Cashew-Curry Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 C green lentils
  • 3 C vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 15-oz can tri-bean blend (or black beans), drained and rinsed
  • .
  • Cashew-Curry Sauce
  • .
  • ¾ C cashews
  • ½ C water, divided
  • 12.3-oz pkg. silken tofu
  • ¼ C coconut flakes
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • .
  • Topping
  • .
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 C green onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ C cilantro, chopped
  • .
  • The rest
  • .
  • 6 Flour tortillas
Directions
  1. Start with preparing the lentils. In a medium sauce pan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. (I like to use Better Than Bouillon brand since I can make as much broth as I need without wasting any.) Stir in the lentils, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let cook for about 25 minutes. I tasted the lentils when there was still a little liquid left and found that they were done, so I just used a fine strainer and drained the lentils.
  2. While they're cooking though, I cooked the potatoes the microwave---roughly 8 minutes and then set them aside to let them cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add the red onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Cut the potatoes into chunks and add them to the skillet, along with the beans. Once the lentils are done, stir them into the potato mixture. I then sprinkled with some cumin and curry powder.
  4. To make the sauce, puree the cashews with a ¼ cup of the water. Next, add the remaining ¼ cup of water and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend for a good 3-4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low-medium heat to warm; whisk occasionally.
  5. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and add the zucchini and green onions; saute over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the veggies soften.You can stir in the tomatoes and cilantro of you'd like, or keep them separate (I know lots of folks who hate warm tomatoes).
  6. To assemble, warm the tortillas in the microwave or steamer. I then spread some sauce on the tortilla, added a couple of big scoops of potato filling, rolled, then topped with a ladle of sauce, some zucchini-green onion mix and then some tomatoes and cilantro. So good! Grab a knife, grab a fork and dig in! Enjoy!

 

Pasta with Cashew Cream & Cheese

Pasta with Cashew Cream and Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan(Unfortunately) most of us probably grew up on the boxed mac and cheese stuff, and likely, so have our kids. And kids like their mac and cheese. Instead of giving them that nasty, chemical-filled boxed junk, try making this kid-pleasing version using grated vegan cheese and cashew cream. Not only is it creamy, but it actually tastes cheesy and pretty darn delicious. While this may not top the list of the most healthiest vegan dishes, it’s miles from the fat-laden dairy version. Cashews are loaded with heart-protective monosaturated fats, antioxidants, calcium and protein. You can use your favorite vegan cheddar such as Daiya, Follow Your Heart or even make your own. This is also an easy recipe that your kiddos can help out with too!

INGREDIENTS:
16-oz uncooked pasta, such as elbows, shells or spirals
1 to 1-1/4 C vegetable broth (it just depends on how thick you want it)
4-oz vegan cheddar, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C cashews, soaked for at least an hour in hot water (if you can; no biggie if you can’t soak them)
1/2 C water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 dashes of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional ingredients: sneak in those veggies by adding peas, carrots or broccoli. Or spice it up with green chilies or salsa.

Pasta with Cashew Cream and Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta according to package instruction, or until al dente. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. If you soaked the cashews, drain them and transfer to a food processor. Puree until finely ground, scraping the sides of processor bowl if necessary. Add the water, apple cider vinegar and salt. Puree 2 minutes, or until smooth. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot. Over medium-low heat, fold in the grated cheese,  cashew cream, broth and nutritional yeast. Combine well and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. If using, add the optional ingredients and stir until heated through. Enjoy!

Pasta with Cashew Cream & Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 16-oz uncooked pasta, such as elbows, shells or spirals
  • 1 to 1-1/4 C vegetable broth (it just depends on how thick you want it)
  • 4-oz vegan cheddar, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
  • ⅓ C nutritional yeast
  • 1 C cashews, soaked for at least an hour in hot water (if you can; no biggie if you can't soak them)
  • ½ C water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional ingredients: sneak in those veggies by adding peas, carrots or broccoli. Or spice it up with green chilies or salsa.
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instruction, or until al dente. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. If you soaked the cashews, drain them and transfer to a food processor. Puree until finely ground, scraping the sides of processor bowl if necessary. Add the water, apple cider vinegar and salt. Puree 2 minutes, or until smooth.
  2. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot. Over medium-low heat, fold in the grated cheese, cashew cream, broth and nutritional yeast. Combine well and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted.
  3. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. If using, add the optional ingredients and stir until heated through. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Tofu Caesar Wraps

Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganWraps are such a quick and easy meal, especially when summer activities have you running all over the place. Although, these are a great option during the school year when you need to grab-and-go. I love Caesar salad, but since going vegan, it’s hard to come by a non-dairy (and non anchovy) version. I made my own Caesar dressing a couple of years ago, which I think his pretty darn good, if I say so myself, so I used that same dressing for these wraps. I did, however, thin out the dressing a little for this recipe, but feel free to do what you’d like. The dressing recipe makes about 2-1/2 cups, so I suggest either halving the recipe, or just enjoy the leftover dressing on salads, sandwiches, or even as a veggie dip.

INGREDIENTS:
Dressing:
2 cloves garlic
12-oz box firm silken tofu
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/8 C olive oil
2 Tbs capers
4 tsp caper juice/brine
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Dash of sugar
Salt and pepper
(I added 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast to the original dressing recipe)
The rest:
1 large bunch of romaine, chopped
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1/3 C cashews chopped
1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 4 slabs
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
Croutons
Flour tortillas or other wraps

DIRECTIONS:
To make the dressing, puree the whole garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. I then transferred the dressing to a mason jar and stored in the fridge.
To prepare the tofu, lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray and over medium heat, brown the tofu, about 8-10 minutes per side.

Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganMove the tofu to a cutting board and let them cool about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the romaine, red onion and cashews in a medium bowl. I then scooped out about 1/2 a cup of the dressing into a small bowl and whisked in about 1-2 tablespoons of water—it’s a pretty thick dressing. Feel free to use almond milk, veggie broth or leave it as is. I then added the dressing to the salad mixture and thoroughly combined it all.
Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganCut the tofu into small squares.
Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganTo assemble, I warmed the tortilla in the microwave for just a few seconds; it’s easier to roll when warm. Place a large mound of salad in the tortilla, then some tofu and a few croutons. Wrap and enjoy!

Tofu Caesar Wraps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12-oz box firm silken tofu
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • ⅛ C olive oil
  • 2 Tbs capers
  • 4 tsp caper juice/brine
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • Dash of sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • (I added 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast to the original dressing recipe)
  • .
  • The rest:
  • .
  • 1 large bunch of romaine, chopped
  • ½ large red onion, sliced
  • ⅓ C cashews chopped
  • 1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 4 slabs
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Croutons
  • Flour tortillas or other wraps
Directions
  1. To make the dressing, puree the whole garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. I then transferred the dressing to a mason jar and stored in the fridge.
  2. To prepare the tofu, lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray and over medium heat, brown the tofu, about 8-10 minutes per side.
  3. Remove to a cutting board and let them cool about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the romaine, red onion and cashews in a medium bowl.
  5. I then scooped out about ½ a cup of the dressing into a small bowl and whisked in about 1-2 tablespoons of water---it's a pretty thick dressing. Feel free to use almond milk, veggie broth or leave it as is. I then added the dressing to the salad mixture and thoroughly combined it all.
  6. Cut the tofu into small squares.
  7. To assemble, I warmed the tortilla in the microwave for just a few seconds; it's easier to roll when warm. Place a large mound of salad in the tortilla, then some tofu and a few croutons. Wrap and enjoy!

 

 

Pine Nut & Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Basil

Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI’m finally back with a new recipe! As much as I love them, I don’t use pine nuts often because they’re rather pricey, but I picked some up on sale. They add such a decadent flavor to dishes and this is no exception. Combined with cashews, they make an ideal stuffing for ravioli. The fresh veggies on top complete the meal.

INGREDIENTS
Dough
1-1/2 C semolina flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C warm unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs olive oil
Filling
1/2 C pine nuts
1 C roasted, unsalted cashews
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 C fresh spinach
Topping
2 Tbs Earth Balance
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 C cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 C fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbs red wine
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS
You can soak the nuts for several hours to overnight, or to speed things up, in a medium bowl, pour boiling water over the nuts and let sit for 2 hours. Sometimes, I only soak them for an hour or so; I don’t mind if the filling isn’t perfectly smooth, so it’s up to you. To prepare the dough, whisk together the two flours and the salt. Whisk in the warm almond milk and oil. Sometimes it’s easier to use your hands to combine everything; use what works. Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside. To make the filling, drain the nuts and add them to a food processor. Process them for about 30 seconds to get them a bit pureed. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree 1-2 minutes until smooth. Set aside.

Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganAs you probably recall, I like to use my pasta maker and a ravioli plate to make raviolis, and I have to say, the process gets easier and quicker each time. I recommend at least getting a ravioli plate—you can find one for under $20 on Amazon.
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI ended up with 44 raviolis . . .
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI then let them sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I prepared the topping. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and basil; season with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, heat the Earth Balance and add the garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for two minutes, then add the wine and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil.
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganBring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli (about a dozen at a time) for 3-5 minutes. They will float to the top and puff up a little when they’re ready. I usually serve them as they finish cooking so they stay hot. If you want to cook them all first, I suggest transferring them to a large, oiled baking sheet. Otherwise, they’ll stick together. Serve with a scoop or two of the fresh topping and enjoy!
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean Vegan

Quinoa and Rice Stir-fry with Cashews & White Beans

Quinoa and Rice Stir-fry with Cashews & White Beans -- Epicurean VeganWhen I want to create a quick and filling dinner, I usually reach for quinoa or rice. Mixed with veggies and nuts, it always makes a great meal and very handy leftovers. I threw in some white beans, too and ended up with a flavorful, protein-filled dish that is nearly gluten-free. The rice mix I used contained wheat, but you can sub in another variety to make it gluten-free.

 

INGREDIENTS:
1 C quinoa
1 box Long Grain Wild Mix
4 C vegetable stock, divided
2 C mushrooms, chopped
6 green onion, sliced
1 C cashews
1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C white wine
1 C fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Start by getting the rice and quinoa going. In a medium saucepan, bring 1-3/4 C of the stock to a boil. Add the rice mix and seasoning packet, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes.

Quinoa and Rice Stir-fry with Cashews & White Beans -- Epicurean VeganStart the quinoa about 15 minutes before the rice mix is done. In another medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2-1/4 C stock to a boil and stir in the quinoa. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes. In a large skillet, toast the cashews over medium heat until they begin to brown; transfer to a boil and set aside. In the same skillet,  heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the mushrooms, green onion, and white beans, and saute 5-7 minutes.

Quinoa and Rice Stir-fry with Cashews & White Beans -- Epicurean VeganStir in the rice, quinoa, and white wine; saute 3 minutes.

Quinoa and Rice Stir-fry with Cashews & White Beans -- Epicurean VeganStir in the parsley and cashews and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Vegan & Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean VeganI am so excited to share this recipe with all of you! Having to give up soy is a little less traumatic now that I’ve come up with a delicious soy-free ricotta cheese. After I made the switch from no wheat and no soy, The Seventh Grader wanted stuffed shells. Of course. And . . . like the power of suggestion, I wanted stuffed shells in the worst way. So I couldn’t use my go-to riotta cheese, nor use regular jumbo shells. Thankfully, I found these “Grand Shells” from Tinkyada.

The ingredients are simple: brown rice, rice bran, and water. They’re a little smaller than the typical flour-based jumbo shells . . .

. . . but it’s not a big deal. They also don’t fold over like regular shells do either. Again, no biggie. Also, cooking these are a bit different. Bring water to a boil, add the shells and cook 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the shells sit for 20 minutes. The shells definitely aren’t mushy like some brown rice pasta can be. In fact, they’re pretty al dente—almost too much. If you want them a little softer, I’d leave them for 25-30 minutes. Overall, very impressive! I thought they were delicious.

So onto the ricotta. This recipe makes quite a bit—great for a big pan of lasagna. Feel free to half it for a small portion, otherwise, it makes almost 4 cups.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C blanched almonds
1 C cashews
1 C cold water
1/8 C olive oil
3-4 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C fresh basil
1 Tbs fresh rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C Daiya cheese,  Mozzarella flavored

DIRECTIONS:
I threw the cashews in a bowl of water while I blanched the almonds. Soaking the nuts are not necessary, unless you have the time and want a really smooth ricotta. Add them to the food processor.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the water, oil, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. This may take a few minutes to get it real smooth, especially if you opt not to soak the nuts overnight, which I did not. It just depends on your preference. I happen to like the nutty texture.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, add the basil, rosemary, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

I had some jumbo shells as well as tofu-ricotta in the freezer, so for the guys, I made them regular stuffed shells. Since I don’t have celiac disease and not concerned with cross-contamination, I combined both in the pan.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Layer on some sauce and Daiya cheese and you’re good to go. Bake covered for 25 minutes at 375.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Enjoy!

Three-Nut Cheese

Three-Nut Cheese -- Epicurean VeganI have been both fascinated and mystified by nut cheese. It wasn’t until I went vegan two years ago that I even learned you could make cheese from nuts. No, it doesn’t necessarily taste much like milk cheese, but it’s still delicious and of course, much healthier for you than the moo-ey version. This recipe is also from Big Vegan, and is actually for quesadillas topped with a mango salsa. I plan on giving that a try, but I think this cheese tastes phenomenal on crackers and apples. I melted some on a tortilla and the flavor really comes out. This recipe is a process, so allow a couple of days for it to magically turn into cheese.

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 C macadamia nuts
1/3 C raw cashews
1/3 C almonds, slivered or flaked
1 acidophilus capsule
1 Tbs cold-press corn oil (I didn’t have any, so I used olive oil)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Three-Nut Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with cold water; refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the nuts and puree them in a food processor with 1/2 C water. Add the contents of the acidophilus capsule and puree.

Transfer to a glass bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

Three-Nut Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

It will then give off a very cottage-cheesy smell. Stir in the lemon juice, oil, and salt. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

Vegan Brie

Vegan Brie -- Epicurean VeganThis recipe is from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. I was intrigued. I’ve tried lots of other recipes from this cookbook and many have been outstanding, but there have been a few that just didn’t do it for me. I was nervous about this one. Surprisingly, however, it’s pretty delicious. I wouldn’t say it’s like brie; both with consistency and taste, but it does taste very good. The recipe doesn’t mention this, but I highly recommending briefly warming this cheeze in the oven or microwave. It only takes about 10 seconds in the microwave. It seems to taste better when it’s a bit melty. I also think this would be really tasty with some warm fruit compote over the top, such as warmed raspberries and blueberries. The possibilities are pretty endless!

INGREDIENTS:
1-2 Tbs wheat germ, or 1/3 C toasted sliced almonds
1-1/2 C water
3 Tbs agar flakes, or 1 Tbs agar powder
1/2 C chopped raw cashews
1/2 C silken tofu
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C lemon juice
2 Tbs tahini
1-1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground dill seed or ground coriander (I used the coriander)

DIRECTIONS:
Lightly oil a 2-1/2 cup round mold. I used a Pyrex bowl, but you can also use a pie plate or cake pan. Dust the bottom of the bowl with either the wheat germ or toasted almond slices. I used the wheat germ; set aside. Combine the water and agar flakes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often until dissolved. Transfer to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients; blend until very smooth. Pour it into the prepared mold.

Vegan Brie -- Epicurean Vegan

Place it uncovered in the refrigerator until it cools completely. Then cover it with a lid and let it chill for several hours, or overnight. To serve, I used a sharp knife to go around the edge—mostly to just break the suction. Turn it over and it will slide right out of the bowl.

Vegan Brie -- Epicurean Vegan

Cut it into wedges and serve with crackers. Like I said before, I recommend serving it warm; I think it taste much better that way. It will keep for 5-7 days. I don’t see why it can’t be wrapped up and frozen, too.

Vegan Brie -- Epicurean Vegan

Enjoy!

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela -- Epicurean VeganI saw this recipe from Angela at Vegangela earlier this week, and it’s all I could think about. I had to wait until the reboot was over since it contains cashews. She came up with the sauce based on the creamy cashew sauce. Using non-pasteurized miso will make it raw and I think zucchini makes ideal noodles. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Angela!

INGREDIENTS:
4 medium zucchinis
1 C raw cashews
3/4 C water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
1 Tbs light miso paste (optional)
2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
Fresh basil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Soak the cashews for minutes in water. While that’s going on, remove the peel of the zucchinis. Using a peeler, peel the zucchinis from one end to the other, rotating until the core is too small to peel anymore.

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, grind the cashews in a food processor to a fine consistency. Add the other ingredients and blend until fairly smooth.

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela -- Epicurean Vegan

You can mix the noodles with the sauce or spoon it over them. Top with some fresh basil and enjoy!

It’s A Cheeze Extravaganza!

It's a Cheeze Extravaganza! -- Epicurean Vegan

Well, first of all, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a wonderful, fabulous holiday full of family, friends and happiness. Even Moe-Dog is having a happiness hangover:

And apparently, he’s a little embarrassed about it:

My mom surprised me with a copy of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and I have had uncheese on the brain since.  For Christmas Eve, we typically do drinks and appetizers, games and movies, so I made three different cheezes from the recipe book and one from Vegetarian Times. A few of the cheezes will require a couple days’ worth of time—but rest assured—they’re easy and worth it. You will need to blanch almonds, something I had never attempted before, but found it to be quite an easy process.

First up:

Port Wine Uncheese


This is super simple to throw together. The pinto beans give it that dry cheese taste and texture and even if it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, it still has excellent flavor. I recommend adding some nutritional yeast–maybe a 1/4 C for more of a cheesy flavor if you feel it needs it. Otherwise, it’s fab on its own. The recipe calls for nonalcoholic red wine, but I went with an actual port.

INGREDIENTS:
2 C (1-15 or 16 oz can) pinto beans
1/4 C nonalcoholic red wine or port wine
3 Tbs sesame tahini
1 Tbs light or chickpea miso (I used light miso)

DIRECTIONS:
Throw it all in a food processor then let it chill several hours or overnight. You could then roll it in roasted walnuts or pecans for extra flavor, if desired.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Incredible Almond Creme Cheez


This one has a fluffy, lemony flavor that pairs really well with herbed crackers. The taste is very mild, so herbed crackers work great with this one. You will need to blanch the almonds for this, which is very easy: place almonds in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain and allow to cool. Pinch the skins between your finger and the skins will slide right off. Dry them off well.

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 C blanched almonds
1/2 C hot water
1/2 C cold water
2 Tbs  lemon juice
2 Tbs kuzu, arrowroot, or cornstarch (I used cornstarch)
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
Grind the almonds to a fine powder. Transfer to a blender (I did as the recipe said, but I’m sure just using the food processor is fine) and add the hot water; process until thick and creamy. Add the cold water and remaining ingredients; blend until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Once it thickens, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly for another minute. Let it cool. Fluff with a fork or whisk and transfer to a storage container.

Chill for a few hours. Before serving, beat again with a fork or whisk.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Onion, Dill and Horseradish Cheez

If you like cheese with a kick, you’ll love this one. The horseradish is perfect in this and makes for a great sliced cheese. I’m not crazy about dill, so next time I will go easy on it and not add the full two teaspoons, but aside from that, it’s a great addition to any cheese platter.

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 C water
5 Tbs agar flakes
1/2 C chopped raw cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs white horseradish (not creamed)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried onion flakes
2 tsp dried dillweed

DIRECTIONS:
Lightly oil a 3-cup plastic (I used glass) container and set aside. Combine the water and agar flakes in a saucepan and boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently 5-10 minutes, or until flakes are dissolved. Transfer to a blender and add the cashews, nutritional yeast, tahini, horseradish, mustard, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Process until smooth. By hand, add the onion flakes and dillweed. Pour into the prepared container and cool uncovered in the fridge. Once it is completely cooled, cover and chill several hours to overnight. Before serving, slice thin.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

Almond Cheese: Spreadable and Feta-Style

(Spreadable)

(Feta-Style)

Now this is probably my favorite. This one comes from Vegetarian Times and despite the time and effort, I’ll be making it over and over again. I doubled the recipe because it can be made into a spreadable version and a feta-style. The only difference is that the feta-style requires baking—a very simple step.

INGREDIENTS: (undoubled)
1 C blanched almonds
1/4 C lemon juice
3 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled (I used minced)
1-1/4 tsp salt
Cheesecloth

DIRECTIONS:
Place almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3″ of water; soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse twice with running water.

Puree the almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs olive oil, garlic, salt and 1/2 C of cold water in a food processor until smooth.  Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into cheesecloth.

Bring the corners and sides of the cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese, squeezing out any excess moisture. Secure with a rubber band.

Chill 12 hours or overnight. Discard any excess liquid—I squeezed a little more out. One half I left in the fridge and for the feta-style: Preheat oven to 200. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unwrap cheese and transfer it from the cheesecloth to the baking sheet. Flatten to a 6″ round with a  3/4″ in thickness on the sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool. I then transferred it to a bowl and used a fork to break it up into feta-like chunks. Place in a storage container and refrigerate for several hours.  Add to salads or soups—you’ll love it! Enjoy!

I’m sure Moe will recover from his Christmas overload soon . . .