Smoky Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Eeep! I haven’t been making posts lately. I think I can blame it on buying our first house about a year ago; it made for a busy summer including our first garden (and I hope to do a gardening post later to share my experience). I created something today that’s pretty delicious, and since I’m kinda proud of my creation, I decided I’d better get posting this in a timely fashion.

Oh, by the way, you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’m sure many of you have gatherings coming up with friends and family. Maybe you’re hosting or bringing something to a gathering. I think these would be a crowd pleaser, unless you are trying to feed these to a mushroom-hater. I used to be one of these mushroom haters but now I stuff my face with them! I guess my taste buds grew up.

Instead of the traditional processed cream cheese as the base, I used a home made cashew cheese. This cashew cheese is super easy; it’s just a matter of trying to remember to soak the cashews and then popping everything into a food processor or high speed blender. It’s worth the small amount of effort required to whip up a batch.

I wasn’t precise when making this recipe so my measurements could be off a bit. I think it should be quite forgiving though as long as you have the cashew cheese right. Please do let me know if you try my recipe out!

Smoky Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 12 mushrooms

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • ~8 oz. cashew cheese, probably around 1 cup (picture a regular tub of cream cheese from the store and filling it with cashew cheese) – recipe here 

    I didn’t blend my cashew cheese until ultra creamy, it still had a slight chunky texture.You can use any extra cashew cheese to dip crackers or veggies

  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ~1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • liquid smoke, to taste (should be around the bbq sauces in the grocery store)
    This gives a bacon-y flavor.
  • Tamari, to taste
stuffing for vegan stuffed mushrooms

Don’t judge my 50’s kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray of choice (I use a sprayer similar to this one and fill it with olive oil).

Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off the stems and chop them extremely fine, discarding the tough ends.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushroom stems and sauté until soft and caramelized, about 2 minutes.

Add to a bowl with the cashew cheese, and add pepper, cayenne pepper, and about 4 drops of liquid smoke, and the same number of drops of Tamari soy sauce; and stir until blended.

Fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

cashew cheese vegan stuffed mushrooms

Enjoy!

baked cashew cheese vegan stuffed mushrooms

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!

I Can’t Stop Eating These Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips

I think these might be the cure to my potato chip addiction!! I can’t get over how good these are, and can’t stop eating them! They also taste so deliciously like sour cream and onion, but of course don’t contain any dairy.

The recipe came from Thrive Foods cookbook. I made these in my food dehydrator but you can do them easily in the oven. I’ve included the instructions for both methods.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews, PRE-SOAKED in water for 35 minutes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and 1/2 Tbsp apple juice – I didn’t have apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch kale (I used some green and some purple kale)

Instructions

Combine the soaked cashews, water, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, and parsley in a blender and process until smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides if needed (this may take several minutes). Set aside.

soaked cashews in mini blender

sour cream and onion mixture blended
Wash the kale to remove any grit, then carefully dry the leaves. Strip the leaves into a bowl, roughly tearing any large pieces. Discard the stems. Pour the creamed mixture on top of the kale, using a small spatula or spoon to remove the mixture from the blender. Using clean hands, massage the mixture into the kale for 1 minute to evenly coat the leaves.

green and purple kale
Oven method:

Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spread the kale chips over the sheets, as evenly and flatly as possible, to ensure even cooking time. (Don’t overlap them) Bake between 1 1/2 and 2 hours (time varies according to the dryness of the kale), tossing halfway through the baking, until the kale has dried out and is crispy but not burnt. Keep a close eye on the kale at the end of its cooking process, and remove any premature crispy chips from the batch if needed. Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Dehydrator method (which also means this method is a raw recipe):

Warm the dehydrator to 115 degrees F. Spread the kale onto 4 mesh dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 10 – 12 hours, or until crispy (time will vary depending on relative humidity). We put this together before bed and let them dehydrate overnight!

sour cream and onion kale ready to be dehydrated

kale chips ready to eat

Ready to eat...nom nom nom

I think I just increased my daily kale consumption by 300%.

Nothing But Good Stuff Protein Trail Mix Cookies

I think I will only make this cookie or versions of this cookie from now on. These not only taste amazing but they are full of purely good stuff. They don’t contain flour of any kind (gluten free!), no oil, and low amounts of natural sugar, plus they are packed with protein and other healthy nutrients! I would call this a Supercookie!!

Thanks Peas and Thank You for another great recipe!

Ingredients (12 cookies)

  • 3 T. flax seeds (ground into meal) or buy pre-ground flax seeds
  • 3/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened plain Almond milk)
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c. pepitas – chopped if desired (these are the inner part of a pumpkin seed)
  • 1/4 c. chopped almonds (I pulsed whole almonds in my mini blender)
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. vanilla protein powder (I used Vega One All In One Nutritional Shake powder, Vanilla Chai flavor – has no added sugar and amazing flavor!)
  • 3 T. honey (I used about 4 Tbsp agave)
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. vanilla
  • stevia to taste (I used 2 packets I believe which is 4 tsp – but add a bit, mix, taste, and see how you like the flavor. Adjust sweetness if necessary)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine ground flax with milk and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

cookie mixture

  • Add flax mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
cookie mixture before forming into cookies

Look at all that whole food goodness!

  • The mixture will seem a bit dry, but will hold together when forming the cookies.
sticky cookie hands

The mixture likes to make your hands pretty sticky. Be patient when forming the cookies, it's worth it :)

  • To make cookies, spoon dough into your hands and pack cookies. Ration the dough so you can make 12 cookies. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased.

mixture formed into vegan cookie
cookies on cookie sheet

  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are slightly browned. Let them cool completely on the pan before transferring to an airtight container.
finished vegan protein trail mix cookies

They don't look much different when baked, and are super chewy and soft

I hope you enjoy these healthy treats as much as we do!

Ceviche – Raw salad cooked by citris juice

I had no idea what Ceviche was, I  just knew when I read the ingredients on the recipe it looked good! I came across it in my Vegetarian Collection cookbook. The cookbook says it is commonly served throughout Central and South America, but is usually made with seafood in it. You could eat this like a salad or heap it on top of crispy whole wheat pita bread like we did! The ceviche is “zingy” and flavorful. It also has ingredients I normally don’t like raw if at all, like olives and tomatoes, but I gobbled this up! The fat fills you up, and not in the gross “I need to unbutton my pants and let my gut fly” kind of way, so you could have it as a light supper, snack, or appetizer.

Vegetarian Ceviche

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • half jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 can hearts of palm, drained and rinsed (check the Indian isle of your grocery store)
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil until thickened. Stir in parsley and jalapeno.

ceviche preparation

Real men eat plants and know how to make delicious food :)

Cut hearts of palm into thin rings and avocado into 1/2 inch pieces; add to bowl along with tomatoes, onion and olives. Toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, or refrigerated, up to 6 hours (I’m not sure when happens after the 6 hours…this is just what the recipe states).

hearts of palm getting mixed into lime juice olive oil mixture

finished ceviche
While the flavors mingled together, we split whole wheat pitas, brushed them with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder, baked them on an oven sheet at 375 for about 5 minutes (this is just a guess – just watch them. They should get brown and crispy but they burn easily, so keep those peepers peeled!)

Nom nom nom…

ceviche on top of baked pita crips

Dehydrated Fruit – All Natural “Candy”

My mom used to make me dehydrated banana slices as a child and I would eat about the equivalent of 8 bananas in a day or two, they are just that good. If you like candy, you will love dehydrated fruit. The food dehydrator is a small investment to make if you use it as much as we do. And if you have kids, it’s a great way to get them to eat fruit also!

Your food dehydrator will come with directions on how long and the temperatures to use for different things. I’ve done pineapple, apple, banana, and strawberries. I always take the dried fruit to work with me for a snack.

We also just bought a food slicer/chopper device. It makes things quick and easy in the kitchen – a good purchase.

apple slicer

Spray trays with canola oil and lay the slices on the trays of the dehydrator

apple slices on dehydrator tray

Run the dehydrator until they are the texture you like (takes hours but is worth it!)

dried apple slices

Nacho Dip

I’m a bit behind on posting what I’ve been cooking. I made this vegan Hearty Nachos recipe I got off the Forks Over Knives website for the Superbowl. My favorite thing of all time to eat is nachos, so when I became vegan I’ve since been looking for something satisfying like this. This will become a regular appetizer of mine for sure!

From the website this recipe was on: These nachos are a meal in and of themselves. You can also use the versatile cheese sauce on potatoes, raw or cooked vegetables, and cooked whole grains and legumes.

Cheese Sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and then rinsed
1 TB. tahini
1 roasted red pepper (rinsed from jar or prepared from fresh) – with these I think less is more, add a little at first, taste and look at the color, then add more if you need
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 TB. tamari (or Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Bean Dip:
1 (16-oz.) can oil-free refried beans (plain pinto beans will work, too)
1 cup prepared salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Garnishes (optional):
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (parsley or lettuce can substitute)
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
Baked unsalted tortilla chips

 

  • In a blender, combine cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.

blender with cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water

cashew nacho cheese sauce

 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place beans, salsa, and chili powder. Continue to stir while the mixture heats and combines. Once the beans are smooth, turn off heat.

combining refried beans and salsa

  • Spread bean dip evenly onto the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl or baking dish. Smooth surface and sprinkle cilantro over beans. Pour some or all of the Cheese Sauce on top of the cilantro. You can serve the extra Cheese Sauce on the side for the rest of the meal or for dipping. Or you can halve the recipe.

pouring cheese sauce on top of beans

YUM! This was great and very filling!

finished nacho dip

There is really nothing bad in here. Could it be…healthy nachos?? My belly thanks the creator of this recipe :)