Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

I’ve used my got-to cashew cream in lieu of heave cream to make a rich, creamy pasta sauce that no one would ever know was dairy-free.  The sage makes this super savory but it can be strong so if you want to lighten up the intensity just simmer a couple whole leaves in the sauce, then remove.  Add in more pumpkin if you you like or even sub with mashed butternut squash.

Makes enough sauce for 2 good-sized portions of pasta

Ingredients

1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 4-8 hours (go with 8 if you don’t have a high powered blender)

2/3 cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small shallot finely chopped

1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage

1 Tbsp vegan butter

1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Add soaked cashews and 2/3 cup water to a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Should be the consistency of heavy cream and should yield about 1 cup of cashew cream.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add shallot and sage.  Saute a 3-4 minutes.

Stir in vegan butter, then pumpkin and add the cashew cream.  Simmer about 5 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

Add in nutmeg, salt and pepper and serve over pasta.

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Mushroom, Kale, Potato Tacos

I’ve probably said it a hundred times but I really love handheld foods.  If I can stuff it in a tortilla or bread, I will.  If you want to make this easier, skip the potato and use frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes.  That will save you the step of having to boil a potato.

Makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (or 1 cup frozen shredded potatoes)

2 cups diced mushrooms

1/3 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1/5 block of drained and pressed extra-firm tofu (optional)

2 kale leaves, large rib removed, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Broth, cooking spray or oil for sauteing

4 corn tortillas

Method

Fill a small pot with cold water, add potato.  Bring to a boil and cook 7-8 minutes.

In a skillet add either a little broth or cooking spray/oil and heat over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and onion and pinch of salt, cook about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, nutritional yeast and if using tofu, crumble into the skillet. Stir and cook and when potato is done drain from water and add to mushroom tofu mixture along with kale. Stir and cook just a few minutes until kale is just wilted.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and serve in tortillas with desired toppings. My faves are avocado and salsa or hot sauce.

 

 

Sundried Tomato Cream Pasta

Another delicious “I can’t believe it’s vegan” cream sauce.  I’m officially obsessed with cashews now that I’ve discovered just how rich and creamy they can make sauces, soups or anything.  With this the fresh basil really adds a lot of flavor that complements the sundried tomato very nicely.  Another great addition to stir in at the end, kalamata olives or pine nuts.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

1/3 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes from a jar (drained of oil)

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 – 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)

1/2 – 3/4 cup vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups cooked pasta, cooking water reserved

Fresh basil (optional but really amazing in this)

Method

Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onion and garlic with a pinch of salt over medium heat until onion is translucent; about 3-5 minutes.  Add to food processor or blender with cashews, sundried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  Puree adding more broth as needed.

Heat skillet over low-medium heat and add enough reserved pasta water to just cover the bottom.  Add in sauce and pasta, stir and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Add a tablespoon of pasta water at time to thin out if needed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat, stir in basil, drizzle with a little oil from sundried tomatoes or just plain olive oil if desired and serve.

Breaded White Bean Cutlets

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Let’s face it, just about anything breaded and fried is pretty tasty.  So this is my meat-free version of a the traditional chicken cutlet.  I do a quick pan-sear to get that golden crust and then I finish in the oven which helps get the chewy texture inside.  If you just fry them, that’s fine but the texture inside will be softer but still delicious.  You can also opt to skip the frying and just bake them for a healthier option (instructions below).  I do this sometimes and while it’s not quite the same, it’s still very enjoyable.  Another favorite way to enjoy this recipe is to make them smaller into nuggets.  A great snack and perfect for dipping!

 

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Makes 6 cutlets

Ingredients

1 can canellinni beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tsp olive oil

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/3 cup vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or another nondairy milk

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I also add in salt, pepper and nutritional yeast)

Canola oil or other high-heat vegetable oil

Method

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

First, get yourself set up. For breading station, whisk almond milk and cornstarch together and add to a shallow dish.  I used an 8×8 baking dish.  Add your breadcrumbs to another shallow dish or a dinner plate will work.  Next get a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray, set aside.

Add all ingredients through soy sauce to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until most of the beans are mashed.  If there are a few pieces of beans that’s ok.  Add vital wheat gluten and broth and stir.  Once it comes together, knead by hand for 1-2 minutes.  You will see the gluten strands start to form; this gives them a good texture.  Form into 6 cutlet shapes.

Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat with a good coating of oil.  While it’s heating I like to do the breading of the cutlets.  Dip each into the milk mixture and then the breading, shaking off excess.  Set aside on a plate.

Test the oil by adding a drop of water and if it sizzles it’s hot enough, if not turn heat up a bit.  Add 2-4 cutlets, depending on size of your skillet.  Cook until lightly browned on each side, about 2 minutes.  As they are done transfer to the baking sheet and once they are all done, bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.

Optional Baking Instructions: If you want to make them a little healthier, you can skip the pan fry and just bake them.  You won’t get the same crisp, golden crust but they’re still good.  When I go with this option I reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake about 20 minutes or until crispy, and I flip halfway through.  I also spray them with olive oil.