This week I discovered cashew cheese which makes the best Mac N Cheese ever. I know I said the Daiya recipe was good, but it was really just tolerable. This one, is so good, Andrew has eaten it three meals in a row.
I found a recipe for cashew cheese on anunrefinedvegan.com it looked amazing, I knew I would love it, but Andrew would not–he likes plain cheddar, but it inspired me to try a cheddar version. What I came up with is amazing (with a lot of help from my friends)
Cashew Cheddar (never will another cheese pass my lips)
1 package Pamona’s Pectin (All the recipes I found used agar, but Somer tried this and it makes a creamier cheese–I still can’t believe she thought to use this, so weird, but perfect)
3 cups water
2 cups raw cashews
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/3 C. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Herbamere (spike or salt of choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric (for color)
Update: Somer made this and replaced 1 C. carrot juice for one of the cups of water, and 1/2 t. smoked paprika added in for a lovely orange color.
Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2.5 cups water til nearly boiling. Pour into power blender. Add pectin, and all other ingredients except calcium water. Blend until smooth. Add calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Pour into bread pan and refrigerate until it sets up—it doesn’t take long.
when I tasted this, I almost cried, I love cheese, every kind of cheese and I missed it so much. I did give this a little kiss and told it I loved it. Andrew asked me to please stop, I was embarrassing.
Best Mac N Cheese EVER (Andrew approved!) inspired by recipe from Jessica Seinfield’s “Deceptively Delicious”
1 lb pasta, cooked and drained
1T olive oil
1 T flour
1 c almond milk
2 T earth spread (you need this because the cashew cheese does make it kind of dry)
1/2 c cauliflower pureed (I also use butternut squash, you can omit this, but it really makes it creamy, and it is how I get Andrew his veg)
1 1/2 c cashew cheese (see recipe above)
1/2 t salt
1/8 t smoked paprika
1/8 t black pepper
5 drops red food coloring
10 drops yellow food coloring (you can omit of course, but it made it look just like mac and cheese and this is important to our tastebuds, if our mind tells us it is, it is a lot easier for our mouth to accept it is—really scientists have done studies about this)
Method: heat olive oil and flour until paste, add milk, bring to soft boil to thicken, add cauliflower, stir in cheese, earth spread and seasoning, stir until melted and creamy, mix in pasta. I add a little hot sauce to mine, but not Andrew’s.
And for the last recipe tonight, this is seriously on of the most delicious things I have ever tasted and it is not just because I am Vegan deprived (I caved and had a bite of Costco red velvet–ok, the whole cupcake, I was so drained after, but I LOVE Costco red velvet). Anyway, this pudding is seriously decadent.
Chia Pudding (OMG!)
1. Soak the cashews in water for 4-6 hours. When finished rinse the cashews with water and strain.
2. If coconut oil is solid place in a pan or double boiler on the lowest temperature possible. Once oil becomes a clear liquid turn the heat off. Coconut oil should melt at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Place the water, the soaked cashews, the hemp seeds, the coconut sugar, the salt, and the vanilla extract in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until you have a nice creamy consistency.
4. Turn the blender on low and while it is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. Place the lid back on and run the blender on high for a few seconds.
5. Turn the blender on low and slowly pour in the chia seeds. You will want to make sure the chia seeds stay whole
6. Place mixture in a sealed container (a quart size mason jar works great) and refrigerate over night. Super Food Chia Pudding is great topped with cacao nibs and hemp seeds or fresh berries. Love light and Yummmm, for every one.
Recipe Credit: Evan Rilling