rants & recipes

Archive for the ‘cashews’ Category

Asparagus Cashew Pilaf

Posted by trktos on 19-September-2010

Fixed a pilaf last night, it was pretty tasty. And relatively easy (except for the oddly un-roast-able cashews I ended up trying to brown on the stovetop, after about 4 or 5 10-minute sessions in the oven at 350 to 425??? Maybe our oven is broken?)

Adapted from this recipe.


  • 3 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into quarters or smaller
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • handful sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 2 1/4 cups water + 2 vegetable broth cubes
  • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 c vegan margarine
  • salt, pepper


  1. Melt margarine over medium-low heat.
  2. Add noodles, cook until they start to turn golden brown.
  3. And onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cover and cook a few more minutes.
  4. Add rice. Cook about 5 minutes, to toast.
  5. Add water, cubes. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat, cook without removing cover, 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, stir-steam asparagus.
  8. Combine rice, asparagus and cashews.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Posted in 0: Recipes, cashews, grains, starches, main dish, nuts, seeds, pasta, rice | Comments Off on Asparagus Cashew Pilaf

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted by trktos on 22-August-2010

Last weekend, I wanted to bake “something” … you know that feeling when you are craving something sweet but don’t really know what? Well, I finally decided on chocolate chip cookies. I pulled out my Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook and dusted it off. I’ve had it for ages and never made a single recipe out of it but, honestly, the real reason I bought it was the picture of chocolate chip cookies on the cover – they look SO good!

So, I was excited – I happened to have all the ingredients on hand (which is no small feat, a bag of vegan chocolate chips surviving around here long enough to be used in a recipe!) and I had the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever – I mean, the ingredients were even given in grams, just how I like them.

I was in for quite a disappointment however – the cookies ran like mad and were a big, oily, crumbly mess. I couldn’t believe it. I followed the recipe pretty much to a T (ok, so I over-ran the teaspoon of vanilla just a little bit – that could not possibly account for the horrid outcome). Anyway *those* cookies got packed away, in copious amounts of napkins, like deep-fat-fried-cookies and were semi-edible, after the napkins wicked off some of the oil and the cookies cooled in the ‘fridge.

Anyway, now it was a bit personal … not only had that cover photo done a thorough marketing job on me, I am totally convinced there’s no way those photographed cookies were made from the recipe inside. Just not possible. The dough was too wet and too oily.

The only thing left to do was to try again. This time, not ignoring the little voice in my head going on about “the dough’s too wet!”. And calling in some reinforcement – from Alton Brown, no less.

The results, this time – so much better! Photo-worthy, certainly.  There’s maybe room for a tweak or two but 100% improvement over last weekend’s attempt!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance, melted
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 150 grams white sugar
  • 170 grams brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Better Than Milk Powder
  • 4 1/2 tsp ener-g egg replacer powder
  • 2 3/4 cup flour (I used about 1/2 each bread and all purpose – next time, I will use all bread flour, per Mr. Brown’s recipe)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 to 2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used roasted cashews)


  1. Combine all but flour, baking soda, chips and nuts in stand mixer and cream.
  2. Allow mixture to cool a little (from melted ‘butter’).
  3. Mix together flour and baking soda.
  4. Combine flour and wet mix into a dough.
  5. When nearly combined, fold in chips and nuts.
  6. Cool dough in refrigerator before baking.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  8. I used a 1/4 cup measuring up to scoop out dough. I made 13 cookies from a single recipe.
  9. Form dough into a ball, place on parchment-lined cookie sheet, silpat or non-stick pan and flatten slightly.
  10. Bake in oven for 10-14 minutes.
  11. Cool on sheets for a few minutes. Remove to racks to finish cooling.

(2nd photo by Evin)

Posted in 0: Recipes, cashews, chocolate chip, cookies, desserts, nuts, seeds | Comments Off on Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cashew Ricotta Lasagna

Posted by trktos on 28-November-2009

Ok, I’ve had my eye on this lasagna recipe for a while. I wanted to make it for Vegan MoFo, but like a lot of recipes, I never got around to it during October but I finally made it yesterday.

I should note that imprecise recipes annoy me just a little and I’d usually pass up on a recipe that calls for “2-3 jars of sauce” – did you use 2 or 3? what size?? – but check out that original picture – it looked way too tasty to pass up. So I compared the ingredients with a lasagna recipe I’ve made a few times, and came up with a game plan concerning what tomato products I was going to use.

One thing I was really suspicious about, though, in the original recipe, was the pan size. 11 x 7 pan for all that food? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m no great judge of volume, but, but – that’s smaller than a sheet of paper?! I suspected there was no way all that food would even fit in my standard 9 x 13 pan. And I was right. I purchased a 10 x 14 deep dish pan – sadly, plentiful this time of year for turkeys and roasts – and even though I didn’t use quite all the ingredients compared to the original, the new pan was full to the brim.

So, here’s what I used. Please see notes, below, for future improvements.

Ingredients, cashew ricotta:

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 14oz tub extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • ~ 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Instructions, cashew ricotta:

  1. Soak cashews (I used raw, unsalted cashews but roasted, unsalted would probably be good, too) – for an hour or two in cold water and drain. (I added this step because my food processor has problems and I was hoping it would do better with softer nuts).
  2. Blend ingredients in food processor, until smooth.
  3. Set aside.

Ingredients, other cheesey filling:

  • 1/2 pound carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~ 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 8-oz container vegan cream cheese
  • approx. 1/3 cup diced, reconstituted dried mushrooms and the approx. 1/2 cup water from reconstituting them (in place of vegetable broth, in original)
  • 1 14-oz container extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (argh, I forgot this. Will add next time!)

Instructions, other cheesey filling:

  1. Saute carrots and garlic in some olive oil for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add parsley, mushrooms and “mushroom-recon” water.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, crumbling tofu.
  3. Cook until cream cheese melts.
  4. Set aside.

Other Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spinach
  • 12-14 lasagna noodles
  • 1 25-oz jar pasta sauce (I used Roasted Garlic)
  • 1 15-oz diced tomatoes (I used Fired Roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • optional – vegan shredded cheese to top

Other Instructions:

  1. Wilt spinach in microwave or on stove-top. Set aside.
  2. Combine all tomato ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Cook lasagna noodle until nearly done, remembering they will cook more in the oven. Rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (at some point during noodle-boiling stage).
  2. Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 10 x 14 inch (4 qt) casserole dish, to keep first layer of noodles from sticking.
  3. Start layering with noodles.
  4. Make sure each layer gets one of the cheeses and tomato sauce. I only added spinach to two layers. Top with noodles and repeat.
  5. End with noodles and pasta sauce and/or vegan shredded cheese, if using. (I used about half of a block of FYH mozaralla but I could have used more. I even tossed the shredded cheese with a little oil, but it did NOT melt, at all. Big disappointment. Oven must’ve needed to be hotter. It melts on pizza but that’s baked at 450 degrees!)
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour, 1 hour 20 minutes. (Another draw back of a recipe calling for impossible amount of food to fit in a small pan – cooking times are likely to be off!)

Notes for next time:

  • I could have used a little more veggies. I’ll try to use the 16 ounces of spinace the recipe called for.
  • I’ll make up my half-pound of carrots with onions, carrots and fresh mushrooms. (Not half-pound, mind you. But about 2 cups’ worth?)
  • This could have been a little less-soupy. Next time, I will squeeze “other cheesey” tofu in a cheese cloth.
  • I will use petite diced tomatoes next time, and drain them. I will probably use 2 jars of pasta sauce and 1 can of tomato sauce, plus the drained tomatoes, because I could have used a little more sauce – yes, while simultaneously needing to be less soupy. This is not a contradiction! =)
  • I will plan to cook at 350, covered, for about an hour. Maybe uncovered, 375, for another 30 minutes (checking frequently.)
  • I might also try 2 recipes of cashew ricotta and leave out the other cheesey tofu mixture. (Still using spinach and veggies, of course.)
  • If I want *melted* cheese on top next time, I’ll either go pick up some Daiya from Pangea or melt the FYH on the darn stovetop first, and pour on during last 15 minutes or so of baking.

Posted in 0: Recipes, cashews, cream cheese, dairy subs, grains, starches, italian, lasagna, main dish, pasta, soy cheese, spinach | Comments Off on Cashew Ricotta Lasagna

Un-honey Roasted Cashews

Posted by trktos on 22-August-2008


  • 1/2 pound raw cashews (or any raw nut)
  • 1 generous tbsp agave nectar (I had amber but darker would probably taste better)
  • 1 generous tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 generous tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla (optional, I forgot it and they were fine)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine everything except the nuts and granulated sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave about 20 seconds to melt margarine. Stir to combine.
  3. Place nuts in a bowl and add syrup mix. Stir to coat nuts.
  4. Spread nuts onto an aluminum foil topped cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 6 minutes, stir to re-coat and bake another 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with granulated sugar, and salt to taste, while still warm.


Posted in 0: Recipes, cashews, nuts, seeds, snack | Leave a Comment »