Tag: cashew cream

Black Olive Bruschetta with Cashew Cream

Can you tell Italian cuisine is on my mind? Between our trips to Italy and my Italian cuisine podcast series, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes.

Traditionally, bruschetta features tomatoes and basil, but bruschetta itself just means “burnt / toasted bread,” so really, we can do whatever we want.

BUT, you can’t say broo-SHET-a. The “ch” sound in Italian is a hard “k” sound (like Chianti or Gnocchi), so it’s pronounced broo-SKET_a.

Ingredients

🌱2 tablespoons olive oil
🌱3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
🌱2 shallots, finely minced
🌱Salt and pepper, to taste
🌱1/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
🌱1/2 cup pitted black (or kalamata) olives, finely minced
🌱1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
🌱1 whole grain baguette, sliced
🌱Olive oil for brushing
🌱Basil Cashew Cream (see below)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400, and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Add the oil to a large sauté pan, along with the garlic, shallots, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Cook over medium heat until the shallots begin to glisten, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and olives, and sauté for 3 minutes more.

4. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, and turn off heat.

5. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with oil.

6. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until about 5 to 7 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Spread a generous amount of cashew cream on each bread slice, and carefully spoon the olive mixture on top.

8. Sprinkle with some minced basil.

MANGIA!

BASIL CASHEW CREAM

Because the cashews have to soak for at least an hour, you will want to factor that in to your total prep time.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (300 g) raw cashews soaked in 3 cups (720 ml) of water for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water

Directions

Once the cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them in a strainer.

Place them in a food processor, along with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the machine, and let it run for a few seconds to start combining the ingredients.

Add most of the water, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes, turning the machine off periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding all of the water, I like first seeing what the consistency is; it’s always easier to add more than it is to take any out!

Salt, to taste. The consistency should be thick but spreadable.

For Your Modification

*Instead of basil, add chives, dill, parsley, or any combination you desire.

*Add finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives instead of or along with the fresh herbs.

For Your Information

It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.

Lentil Meatballs {Recipe}

Of course there are commercial vegan meatballs in the store, but in just a short time, you can enjoy a more delicious, more healthful, more affordable, zero-waste, plastic-free version! These are fantastic over traditional pasta or zoodles, pasta made from zucchini!

ADVANCE PREPARATION REQUIRED

Ingredients

2 tablespoons water for sauteing

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup dried brown lentils

2-½ cups water

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons water, blended in a food processor or blender for about 1 minute or until thick and gelatinous

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (Italian-style or plain)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon ground fennel seed

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Marinara sauce of your choosing

Directions

In a 4-quart saucepan, heat up the water in a large sauté pan, and add the onion. Sauté over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for another minute.  

Add the lentils, water, and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let cook for about 25 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. (If there is still some water left in the pot when the lentils have finished cooking, drain it in a strainer. If the water evaporates too quickly for the lentils to properly cook, add a bit more water.

When the lentils are done, place them in the bowl along with the flax seed mixture. Add in the bread crumbs and all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Taste for salt, and add the remaining ½ teaspoon, if needed.

Mash the mixture with a potato masher or fork until the lentils are broken up and the mixture is sticky enough to hold together when rolled into balls. You want the mixture to be soft but not a paste.

Let the mixture sit covered in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes, up to 24 hours.

When ready to prepare, squish the mixture with your hands. The mixture should be quite wet and able to be formed into balls that will stay together when cooked. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. If it’s too dry, add a little water.

Taste, and add more salt or other seasoning, if desired.

Shape the lentil mixture into balls of your desired size. You can make them large like golf balls or smaller. To create uniform sizes, use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop.

Next, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the same large sauté pan you used to sauté the onions, or use a nonstick pan to brown the lentil balls. Turn your stove to medium heat. Brown the lentil balls on all sides. If using right away, add them to a large pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serve with pasta and your favorite marinara sauce with fresh parsley sprinkled on top — or on a hearty roll with sauce and vegan cheese for a meatball sub!

For Your Information

The longer you leave the lentil balls in the marinara sauce, the more they’ll break down, which is still delicious — it becomes more of a “meat” sauce. However, if you’d like them to keep their shape, heat the sauce separately, and pour it onto the pasta and the lentil balls while everything is still hot.

For Your Modification

You can make a gluten-free version with a gluten-free flour of your choice or with rolled oats. Pulse rolled oats in a food processor until they are ground into a powder-like consistency. One cup of whole rolled oats yields the equivalent amount of oat flour.

Soy-free, wheat- and gluten-free (if using wheat-free flour)

Minestrone Soup with Kale {Recipe}

The addition of kale in this classic comfort soup makes it even better, certainly more nutritious, and definitely more colorful! PLUS, it’s vegan / plant-based / animal product-free!

The Italian word minestrone refers to a large, hearty soup. The soup itself is part of what is known in Italy as cucina povera — literally “poor kitchen,” referring to the necessity of creating dishes based on what was available and in season. As it has been passed down through the ages, there is no fixed recipe and lends itself to many variations.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil or water for sautéing
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
One 15-ounce can or equivalent fresh diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cups white beans (Cannellini, Great Northern, navy)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
6 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 cup soup pasta (elbow macaroni, shells, etc.), cooked
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil or water in a large soup pot over medium heat, and add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onion turns translucent and the carrots glisten, about 7 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute or so, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit.

Add the beans, kale, parsley, water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the flavors are all incorporated.

Add the pasta, and stir to incorporate. Cook for 5 minutes more, tasting and adjusting the salt and pepper as needed, then remove from heat and serve.

What more fantastic vegan recipes? Have you checked out my cookbooks? 

The Joy of Vegan Baking 

The Vegan Table

Color Me Vegan

The 30Day Vegan Challenge

Yield: 6 servings

Oil-free if using water to sauté, soy-free

Herbed Cashew Cream

I was tempted to call this recipe “Basil Cashew Cream,” but I didn’t want to limit you. Consider this delicious spreadable cheese a basic foundation to which you can add any variation of fresh herbs or other ingredients. From The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

There’s also a version of my cashew cream matched with the Black Olive Bruschetta. It’s sooo good! The photo references are my Strawberry Bruschetta — also in The 30-Day Vegan Challenge — but you can use this cashew cream in many ways, especially as a spreadable cheese. I served it recently for an afternoon tea party I hosted with girlfriends, and it was just perfect. 

Yield: 1½ cups or 12 servings

Note: Because the cashews have to soak for at least an hour, you will want to factor that in to your total prep time.

Ingredients

2 cups (300 g) raw cashews soaked in 3 cups (720 ml) of water for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced basil
¼ cup (60 ml) water

Directions

Once the cashews have soaked, drain and rinse them in a strainer.

Place them in a food processor, along with the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Turn on the machine, and let it run for a few seconds to start combining the ingredients.

Add most of the water, and process until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes, turning the machine off periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding all of the water, I like first seeing what the consistency is; it’s always easier to add more than it is to take any out!

Salt, to taste. The consistency should be thick but spreadable.

For Your Modification

  • Instead of basil, add chives, dill, parsley, or any combination you desire.
  • Add finely chopped sundried tomatoes and/or olives instead of or along with the fresh herbs.

For Your Information

It will keep well in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.

GET YOUR FREE JOYFUL VEGAN GUIDE

Includes delicious plant-based recipes and a meal plan!




© 2022 ColleenPatrickGoudreau.com. All Rights Reserved.