Cashew Alfredo and Roasted Asparagus

Cashew Alfredo & Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean VeganThe Alfredo recipe is from The Kind Life and is probably the best vegan Alfredo sauce I’ve tried thus far. The taste and consistency is perfect. The only thing I added was some nutritional yeast and some sliced mushrooms. Paired with the asparagus, it was a fantastic meal!

1 C raw cashews
2 Tbs pine nuts
1-1/2 C water
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast
4 C pasta (I used 16 oz of orecchiette, a.k.a “suction cup pasta)
1 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
1-2 Tbs olive oil

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean VeganDIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, coat the asparagus with the olive oil and season with salt; set aside. To make the sauce, grind the nuts in a blender until you reach a fine powder. Add the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until completely smooth—about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes; stir in the black pepper and mushrooms. It won’t take long to thicken up and stir it often to keep it from burning.

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean VeganTransfer the asparagus to a baking sheet and as soon as you add your pasta to a pot to boil it, throw the asparagus in the oven. Incidentally, they’re both take about 14 minutes to cook.

Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean VeganTurn the asparagus halfway through—about 7 minutes. Cook another 7 minutes.

Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean VeganPerfect!
Drain the pasta and serve with sauce ladled on top. (The Eighth Grader cut up his asparagus and added it to the pasta and loved it). Enjoy!

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean Vegan


Feast On This!

Vegan MoFo, Day 5

A Vegan Thanksgiving

I’m coming up on a year of being vegan. I actually went veg after Thanksgiving last year. Not because I wanted to gorge myself one last time on some poor dead bird,  but because I didn’t discover Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, until after T-Day. I felt her book did a fantastic job of explaining the concepts of veganism in all aspects: health of your body, the health of the environment, and the health of animals. I read the book in a day and as they say, the rest is history.

I’ve learned over the course of a year, that converting recipes to a healthier, yummier (vegan) version has been quite easy, so I have no fear when it comes to making a vegan Thanksgiving. In fact, besides the dead bird, most of the traditional dinner is comprised mostly of veggies. Yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, that green bean casserole, cranberries . . . c’mon, all that can easily be made vegan.

Cloe Coscarelli has a few ideas on how to have a thankful holiday vegan-style with Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Hazelnuts, and Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

I’m not sure what I’ll be bringing to the table yet, but those recipes look outstanding.

What’s your vegan Thanksgiving look like?


The UNhappy Meal

For many, many reasons, please, please do not feed your kids McDonald’s (or any fast food for that matter). San Francisco (who leads the nation with the Meat Free Mondays campaign) agrees with me and has banned the fat farm fast food joint from putting toys into their Happy Meals. In an effort to combat childhood diabetes and obesity, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made the bold move on Tuesday and “i’m lovin’ it.”

“This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment.”

Eric Mar, SF Supervisor

By December 1st, Micky D’s has to either make their Happy Meals contain 600 calories or less, include fruits and vegetables, and the beverage without excess fat and sugar, or the toys are history. McDonald’s was pissed.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement. “Getting a toy with a kid’s meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s.”

Oh, boo-hoo. Get over it and start thinking about the kids that eat this crap. They need to take this as an opportunity to help feed kids a healthier meal. This reminds me of the segment in Food, Inc., where a family of 4 could only afford to eat off the McDonald’s Value Menu and were slowly becoming diabetic, obese and just plain unhealthy.

I’m anxious to see how this plays out if other cities will follow suit.


“Dear Lord, I’ve been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us… a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird… a social being… capable of actual affection… nuzzling its young with almost human-like compassion.  Anyway, it’s dead and we’re gonna eat it.  Please give our respects to its family.”

-Berke Breathed, Bloom County Babylon