Vegan Creamy Pasta

Creamy stuff is so so hard to replicate without dairy, so when we first tried this creamy pasta dish, we stared at each other in shock as we shoveled it into our mouths, repeating over and over how good it was. It’s super easy and quick, and one of those recipes that I think even dairy lovers would enjoy. It’s not trying to be dairy or cheese, it’s very much it’s own type of creamy sauce, but it’s perfect.

  • 1C raw cashews – TJ is the cheapest by weight
  • 1-2 C water (if your food processor is 7C or smaller, start with less water first)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • lots of cracked black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • whatever other spices sound good to you! Seriously, it’s forgiving

Start with just the cashews and water in the food processor until creamy (1-2 minutes for us). Add the spices in the little top hole while it’s still running. Once it’s really creamy, stick your finger in to taste and see what else it needs. If I’m going for tangy or cheesy, I’ll add nutritional yeast, miso, and apple cider vinegar. It’s also good with thyme, sage, and oregano. The sauce should be fairly runny, not super thick. It thickens up really quickly as it’s heated, so if you’re adding it to pasta or warming it up at all, you want to start with a runnier consistency.

We like pouring the sauce over a bowl of pasta and adding some roasted veggies for a one-bowl meal. Our favorites are roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed mushrooms and onions, or broccoli.

I promise, you’re going to take one taste of this sauce and immediately try to figure out what else you can put it on. I made a weird version of potato leek gratin in the dutch oven this week, and it wasn’t the worst thing. The sauce was great, the potatoes could’ve used a little more flavor, and the leeks basically caramelized into nothing at the bottom of the pan, but there was some potential. I’ll work on that next and hopefully figure out a good version. Until then, I’m going to keep pouring this sauce on EVERYTHING.

PS: when you’re eating it and inevitably thinking oh wow this is thick and heavy and must have a lot of calories….. NO!!!! That’s the best part! It’s just nuts and water!!! Ugh so good. Now go eat some more of it to wash away your guilt.

**recipe idea credit to Anna Pippus who posts the best recipes in her stories!

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Vegan Collard Greens – Southern Style

Up until this past week, I would’ve read the title of this post and immediately written it off because there couldn’t be any possible way you could replace the deliciously smoky fatty bacon and pork that belong in collard greens. I can now confirm that vegan collard greens are possible and just as delicious as the meaty version. We made our own stock, but I honestly think you could get away with a strong bouillon version and be just fine.

Stock – simmer for at least an hour

  • 1-2 pieces of Kombu
  • couple dashes of soy sauce
  • 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 large onion – roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks – greens only
  • 2 bay leaves
  • parsley and thyme (fresh or dried)
  • 12 ish oz of dried mushrooms – shiitake work well
  • enough water to cover by an inch

Prep

  • couple glugs of olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion – roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • the reconstituted mushrooms pulled out of the stock and chopped up
  • soy sauce
  • miso
  • smoke powder
  • smoked paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • collard greens – 1 huge bunch or 2 small

Sautee all that deliciousness above til its smoky and soft. Add the stock, simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chopped collard greens, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes or til the greens are soft.
Add the soy sauce, smoke powder, and smoked paprika to taste. We upped the soy sauce and salt quite a bit since I think that’s one of the key seasonings that you typically get from meat.

We served ours with cornbread and some mashed potatoes and it was heavenly. Very very pleasantly surprised with how this turned out!

 

**Two posts in one day?!?!? Unheard of. We’ve been on a roll lately and I don’t want to forget any of these recipes! I write them down and then immediately lose the scrap of paper, so that doesn’t work. I need my own cookbook.

Vegan Indian Lentil Soup

Thanks to the Whole Foods hot bar and the diversity of the neighborhood around it, I have developed a new found love for Indian food. The best part is that it tends to be vegan by default, so I get all the flavor and warmth and variety that I crave, but without worrying about avoiding meat or dairy. I’m super intimidated by all of the spices that I can’t identify by taste, so I’ve never tried making it at home.

Last night was chilly and damp and we were craving a chunky filling soup. I walked into the coop with a general plan of using red lentils, and a quick Pinterest search popped up this recipe for Indian lentil soup. Luckily, the bulk spice section at the coop makes trying new spices super low risk and inexpensive, so I went for it. Best. Decision. Ever. This soup is so so so delicious and I plan on making it at least once a week for the rest of the winter. If you don’t think you’re going to use these spices for other recipes and don’t want to clutter your cabinet with another 5-6 jars, find yourself some bulk spices and buy just a teaspoon or two of what you need. My spices only cost about $3 total for this entire recipe, and I bought enough for probably 3 more batches. I’ll probably invest in jars of each since I plan on making this often.

Another huge plus is that prep is minimal. You only have to cut one onion and smash (a lot of) garlic! Easy peasy. It’s super forgiving too, so you can use more or less of almost anything depending on what you have in the pantry, and it’ll come out just fine. I wung it on a few things and it was still delish.

  • 2-3 C red or yellow lentils
  • 5+ C chicken or veggie stock
  • 2-3 tsp curry (the recipe calls for curry leaves, but this is all I had sooooo same?)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 yellow onion – diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic – minced or chopped
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger (seriously fresh makes all the difference)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter or oil
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 C tomato puree
  1. simmer the lentils, stock, bay leaves, and curry powder for about 20 minutes in a large soup pot
  2. in a separate pot, simmer the butter+coriander+mustard seeds for a few minutes
  3. add the onions and ginger and fry til transparent
  4. add the garlic and spices and fry for a few minutes, adding the tomato puree when the pot gets dry.
  5. add the onion mix to the lentils and mix everything together. Simmer over low heat for about 20 more minutes.

We ate these with Trader Joes naan, but it would be delicious with crackers or bread, or by itself. I was genuinely sad when my bowl was empty and I was too full to eat any more.

recipe from: thewoksoflife.com