Tag: good day sacramento

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.

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.

Vegan Meringue Cookies on Good Day TV!

Thanks to TV host Bethany Crouch at Good Day Sacramento, I visit the studios monthly to share my message of compassion and wellness.

With the launch of Animalogy Podcast, it was an opportunity to talk about animal-related words and expressions; and in light of the hundreds of millions of hens used and killed for the egg industry, it was an opportunity to highlight how to use aquafaba, the magic bean water everyone is talking about, to make meringue in general (and meringue cookies in particular). 

Vegan Eggless Meringue Cookies {Recipe}

Yup, you read that right—meringue in a vegan recipe. In December 2014, French chef, Joël Roessel, discovered that the liquid from canned beans such as chickpeas has a chemical composition that mimics the functional properties of egg whites. Hence, aquafaba (“water from beans”) was born and the word coined by Goose Wohlt.  

There is so much buzz on the internet about this amazing discovery that I couldn’t possibly reiterate it here, but I will say that some people find that unsalted chickpeas work better than those that are salted; I haven’t necessarily found that, but there you have it.

Ingredients

Liquid from 1 can (15 ounces or 425 g) of chickpeas (about ¾ cup or 180 mL)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

⅛ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (150 g) white granulated sugar, made fine by first pulsing it in a coffee grinder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200 °F (100 °C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner, and set aside.

Drain the liquid from the can of chickpeas, and add it to a mixing bowl along with the vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and salt. You may use a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer (using the whisk attachment). (Mixing by hand will only wear out your wrists and not give you the peaks you’re seeking.)

Set your mixer on high, and slowly pour in the sugar as the beater is running. Beat for 10 to 15 minutes, though you may need to stop once or twice to scrape down any sugar that sticks to the side of the bowl.

After 10 minutes or so, check the meringue. You’re looking for the stiff peaks characteristic of meringue. There have been times these peaks have formed after only 6 minutes, so just keep an eye on it.

At this point, if you’d like to add any food coloring gel, spoon a portion of the meringue into a separate bowl, and carefully fold in the coloring.

Use a pastry bag or a spoon to dollop the meringue onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 1-½ hours, then turn the oven off. If you want a crisp outside and chewy center, this is essential. You may open the oven door just a smidge, but leave them in the oven for at least an hour — up to 24 hours.

Store in a cool, dry place. They are best eaten the day you make them, but if your environment is very dry (not humid), they can last a few days in an airtight container.

For Your Edification

Aquafaba is not only the liquid from canned chickpeas but from chickpeas made from scratch, as well.  

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