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Monday, September 19, 2011

Garlicky Cashew Cream Sauce and a Eureka Moment

Although I've lagged on regular blogging these past few weeks, I assure you, my kitchen is getting one HECK of a workout.  I probably spend all of my spare time in that one room and couldn't be more happy about this.  Cooking has becoming something really special to me all of a sudden...

Cooking is a stress reliever, a celebration, a spiritual endeavor, a workout, an homage to good health, and a way to tell people I love them.

Many people already know this about cooking and baking, and to some level, I knew that as well.  But it's only as of late that this has really sunk in.  

Now, although I did cook prior to becoming a vegan, I did not cook all that much.  And when I did cook, I felt way out of my league.  Cooking meat just creeped me out.  I was always afraid of undercooking something and therefore making people ill.  One such moment involved cooking a turkey and a very wise friend of mine who said "these little [insert obscenity]'s are toxic if you don't cook them right."   After allowing it to defrost in my refrigerator, I then felt the need to completely detoxify my refrigerator so as to ensure I didn't kill myself or others after that bird sat in there.

Now that I don't cook anything that could really get me sick, I feel liberated and safe.  I cook almost every meal of the week with the exception of one meal out on the weekends and to many people, this may seem crazy difficult, but I love it.  I love the idea that I pick up all the ingredients I need to sustain myself and Matt for an entire week.  I also love the idea that I know EXACTLY what is going into my body.

I love rules.  I love following them.  I love that they stand for order.  I think they are extremely necessary in life.  Which is why I also am not one to move away from a rule that is set, i.e. a recipe.   In fact, in the world of cooking and baking, I believe one of my strengths is my ability to follow directions.  Unfortunately, this also means that I squelch creativity and avoid taking risks (this bleeds into the rest of my life as well, but that's another issue...), which is a weakness when it comes to cooking and baking.

But lately...

I've been taking more risks.  

I've been venturing into uncharted territories.

Ok, nothing all that exciting, BUT, I have been taking more liberties with recipes and have even come up with a few things on my own.   Nothing is worth posting about.  Yet.  But someday in the not so far off future, I believe I may have a few recipes of my own to share with you fine people.

So stay tuned.

Until then, try this delicious cashew garlic sauce that I smothered over some vegetables on a Friday night as I made my way out the door to go to a movie.  Super easy and SUPER delicious.  So what if I smelled like garlic all night...

*Sidenote: I'm pretty sure the plate is sitting on a Victoria's Secret magazine.  This is troubling in many ways because a) I obviously was too lazy to move the magazine in order to take a picture, b) the magazine was in the kitchen and c) I have no idea why this magazine is in my house...never subscribed to it...

Roasted Bell Peppers, Baked Sweet Potatoes and Galloping Greens with Cashew Sauce from Engine 2 Diet


2 large sweet potatoes scrubbed and pricked with a fork (I only had one)
3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers halved and seeded
1 package or bunch fresh mustard greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped
4 Tbsp water or orange juice (I used water...don't generally have orange juice around the house)
1/2 C home toasted cashews (I didn't toast them myself, use regular canned cashews)
1 Tbsp tamari
2 cloves garlic (I used four...teehee)
water for thinning the cashew sauce to desired consistency


For Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Place potatoes in a casserole dish and bake for 45 minutes, until they indent easily with finger pressure. Set aside to cool. Slice in half and serve with the skins on. (I had to run out the door before these were truly done, I think it takes longer than 45 minutes to roast these)

For Bell Peppers

If you don’t have a gas burner: De-seed the peppers and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Cook on the oven rack, above the potatoes for five minutes, until the skins begin to bubble and blacken. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Under running water, peel away the skins. Slice into 1 inch strips.

If you have a gas burner: Place the pepper directly on top of the burner, turn to high heat and turn pepper until it is completely blackened. This is best done with a long pair of tongs. immediately place under running cold water and peel the charred skin off. 

For Galloping Greens with Cashew Sauce

Place coarsely chopped mustard greens and juice (or water) in a large covered pot over medium heat. Cook the greens for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender. In a blender, mix the toasted cashews, tamari and garlic together adding small amounts of water as necessary until the mixture is the consistency of a smoothie. Spoon the cashew sauce over the cooked greens and enjoy.

1 comment:

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