Tag Archives: cashew butter

Creamy Kale-fredo

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c mezze penne pasta
  • 1 c minced, marinated* kale
  • 1/2 c cashew butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 c chicken broth (for equitable option, use veggie broth)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • dash turmeric

kalefredoAll the creaminess of an Alfredo with none of the cream! This is not to say I was gunning for an Alfredo sauce when I started, but the richness and flavor reaped by cashew butter is a worthy replacement for actual cream. Start this whole shebang by mincing your garlic and letting it simmer in a pot on M for a few minutes (I washed dishes).

Upon your return to the stove, smack the cashew butter up in that pot. Add broth slowly; stir to meld the two. Heck, go on and stir in all the seasonings while you’re at it. Once everything has made friends with one another, introduce the lemon juice and kale; cover and simmer on L for a few minutes while you cook the pasta. Drain it and add to the sauce pot. Toss everything together and let it sit on L for at least 5m (let the pasta saturate itself in flavortown) before digging in. 5 spoons!

kale*The equation I use for making marinated kale is: KALE (- STEMS + A FEW DROPS OIL) + FOOD PROCESSOR x 15 MINUTE WAIT = “MARINATED” KALE

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Hot and Nutty Broccoli

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c homemade fruit jam
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1/2 c dry roasted peanuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 sm Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1 packet onion gravy mix
  • 1 c water
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

Let’s start off with a disclaimer: frozen broccoli is gross. To me. Because I am a weird elitist about the small things over which I still have control. I am not ashamed to say that I like my vegetables fresh, with that semblance of a life once lived. Ok.

As routine suggests, start out your diced onion, garlic and mustard seeds out in both oils warming to M. Mix hot red chili powder, turmeric, cumin and asafoetida into your jam and set aside. When mustard seeds begin popping add in peanuts and stir fry for a moment, then melt in your jam and cashew butter. Stir gravy packet with water and add in as the whole pan comes back to a low boil. Dump in frozen broccoli, cover and wait for the frozen bastards to come back to life. Only to die once more, leaving your teeth yearning for vegetable blood. Stir it all together and serve immediately over rice or let sit for up to an hour. This is a 5 spoon meal that frozen broccoli takes down to a 3. I will shake my fist at the sky and try again.

 

Too Many Modifiers Meat Meal with Black Bean and Cashew Butter Hummus Lettuce Wraps

In my pantry today:

  • .74 lbs stir fry beef
  • 1 c Basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp minced Vidalia onion
  • 6-8 leaves off a head of leaf lettuce
  • 1 tsp safflower oil

Marinate your meat for an hour or two in:

  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Soak and cook rice with:

  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Black Bean and Cashew Butter Hummus:

  • 1.5 c cooked black beans
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbsp cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Drizzle it all with:

  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder

Wow. So this is apparently what happens when I’ve gone three days without kitchening. And come back one day after having had six cups of coffee. I also made kale chips, loaded the dishwasher and cleaned out all the dog food and soda cans in the sink (followed by cleaning the sink). I love taking as full advantage possible when I’m having a good day; ring the gong, then, and begin your cooking adventure!

Massage the marinade into your meat; set aside. After your rice has been rinsed and soaked, start it out to boil with the addition of [everything listed above]. Put the ingredients for your drizzle in a sauce pan on L to begin melting and melding; stir gently until it’s one love and keep at the ready.  Make your hummus by throwing everything into the food processor and blending to a reasonably hummus-like paste. Roll little bits of it, with accents of onion, in lettuce leaves, then:

Heat 1 tsp safflower oil to MH (more H than M) and when the pan is hot-n-ready, rapidly stir fry your beef then serve hot over your equally hot rice. Surround the dish with lettuce wraps and drizzle it all with the spicy cashew butter drizzle. This meal was worth all the effort and earns 5 spoons!

Cashew Curry Chicken Soup (or “Meat the Parents”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cut in thirds
  • 1 c fresh spinach, diced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp safflower oil
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • 3 tbsp leftover sweet potato bisque
  • 2 packets chicken gravy mix
  • 4 cans vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

So my mom reads my blog (hi mom!), and when I happened to see my parents this past weekend I was met with the usual amount of love and, also, an entire cooler of meat. “If I see one more post with ONLY beans…” says mom. So consider this the dawning of the age of Aquarius — if by “dawning of the age of Aquarius” I mean “MEATSPLOSION!” Granted, we all know I am no pure vegetarian… and I don’t see a complete eradication of animal products from my diet happening. I mean, just cutting out dairy is still a very tenuous journey: I am Italian and that would mean giving up Parmasean cheese. That will never happen — it is good on everything.

But back to the cooler full of meat. In addition to our apocalypse supply of dried beans, I now have all this to work with:

  • 1 package boneless pork chops
  • 1 package stir fry beef
  • 1 package beef stew beef
  • 1 family size package of cube steak
  • 1 family size package of chicken tenders
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 NY Strip steaks

This warranted a full hard cleaning out of the freezer because all of this would need to be portioned, packaged and frozen. Can anyone chime in with an agreement here if you’ve ever met my Mom and Dad? Because I need to profess their awesomeness and my subsequent gratitude in this harsh world for such a lucky break, and I need confirmation on this from outside sources so that when Mom inevitably reads this she knows this isn’t just meat-related lip service. They have done so very right by all of their offspring, and then they occasionally top it all off with things like a cooler full of meat Dad purchased from his post-retirement job at the grocery store.

I admit to being a little overwhelmed by the amount of animal I put in the freezer yesterday, but as kismet had it I was making dinner for non-vegetarian friends so I got to cut out most of one of the animals present. I saved one meal of chicken tenders for the house, then had ample left to feed five people.

In a large stockpot on M, start your onion and mustard seeds out in safflower oil. When the seeds begin popping, turn the heat to MH and add your hunks ‘o chicken and garlic paste. Toss everything to coat then let the chicken spend a little time staying still. Flip after a minute or four. Cook until the outsides are showing brown faces then remove everything in the stock pot to a large bowl and set aside.

Return the pot to the burner and reduce heat back to ML. Put in the cashew butter, slowly stirring in a can of broth until it’s become a proper gravy. Then to this proper gravy, add the two packets of chicken gravy you’ve whisked with cold water and the bisque. Turn the heat back up to MH and bring to a low boil as you add the other seasonings and continuously stir. Once everything tastes peaceful, stir in the chicken, onions and minced fresh spinach. Bring everything back to a very low boil then reduce heat to L, cover, and walk away until the chicken is done slow-cooking in the goodness.

This is a recipe that received so much praise I can’t help but consider it more than deserving of 5 spoons: a rating most certainly clinched by a new acquaintance’s conclusion, “Going down it felt like… it… hugged all of my organs.”

/fistpump


Sweet Potato Bisque and Tempeh Fingers (Or, “Tempeh, Tempeh!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package Lightlife organic tempeh
  • 1 large and 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2.5 oz jar of Bronco Bob’s Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 c water

Slice your block of tempeh into 1/4″ slices and put in a cold pot on the stove. Mix Bronco Bob with the vinegar, sesame oil and 2 tbsp soy sauce and pour over the slices; turn the burner on L, cover, and let it sit for a few minutes then turn each slice and let sit a few more. Add 1c water and turn the stove to M. Bring the marinade to a low boil then turn off stove, toss the slices and let sit until cool enough for Tupperware. I done did this a few hours in advance of their cooking, so they were transferred to Tupperware and allowed to continue cooling in their juices with a trip to the refrigerator.

Peel your sweet potatoes and slice into a series of large, thin discs. Slice your onion nearly as delicately and cook that on M in 2 tsp of hot ghee for a minute or so, then add your sweet ‘tater slices and 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Toss, coat, then pour in 1/2 c water and a tbsp of soy sauce and cover. Leave on M and walk away until everything begins to caramelize, then return to spread that wealth to the masses and spatula-chop (not mash) the minions. Add another 2c of water, 2 tbsp soy sauce  and return the lid. Bring to a boil until water is reduced and all solid pieces are soft. Remove from heat upon final smashings and stir in a tsp each of ginger-garlic paste, cayenne pepper and cashew butter.

Now, move the entire mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot and add 1 can of vegetable broth. Let simmer while you get the tempeh in order:

Warm 2 tbsp safflower oil in the deep-bottomed frying pan and when at full M, add patted-dry tempeh slices. Sear until edges crisp then turn heat to L and continue flipping until the first one breaks in half. At that juncture, remove all slices to drain on a paper towel. Go make yourself a bowl of soup while that transpires.

Top bowl of bisque with 1/2 tsp vegetable ghee for a fancy highfalutin experience. When tasted by an outside party, this bisque got an immediate “Slap Yo Mama Good” reaction. This means five spoons. The tempeh, honestly, only gets three spoons… but some extra potential points still exist in that little soybean cake; I am interested in its ideas and would like to subscribe to its newsletter.


Black Eyes in Butternut Cashew Sauce

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c finely cubed butternut squash
  • 2 c cooked black eyed peas
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 2.5 c water
  • 2 packets Swanson Flavor Thingys (Vegetable)
  • 2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dice your onion and garlic as chunky or fine as you see fit and start them in cold pan of safflower oil; turn your stove-knob to M. While that’s warming, finish tidying your counter and pulsing your cashew butter to the creamiest possible consistency. Take 1/4 c out of the food processor or whatever jar you may have and add 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder. Set aside. Return to your pan and stir contents; after about seven minutes of sizzling add squash and toss everything so that your tiny orange cubes gleam with flavor. Let that sizzle some more while you empty those flavor packet thingies into 1.5 c  water. Stir in seasonings, add it to pan and cover. Let cook until squash is tender.

Once everything is at an affable consistency in the pan, push contents to one side and add your cashew butter. Stir in 1/2 c water and once it’s all of a mostly liquid consistency, push the squash back into it and fold everything together. Add the salt to make up for the second flavor packet thingy you’d like to add but didn’t for the sodium content. Finally, gently fold in your lonely beans and let everything sit together for a few minutes. Serve over rice and/or with naan.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day, or “But her nuts!”

In my pantry today:

  • 2  c butternut squash in 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cashew butter
  • 1 16oz can chicken broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp+ cayenne pepper
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

Cook onion slivers in olive oil on M until they begin to become translucent; mix a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper in. Add squash and garlic. Cook pan contents for about a minute, then add 2 tbsp broth and cover the pan. In about another two minutes, remove pan contents from heat and set aside in a bowl. In hot-n-empty pan, begin sliding your hunk of cashew butter around. As it melts, slowly add broth and continue stirring patiently until there’s a rich gravy. Once the cashew butter is entirely dissolved into a delicious sauce, add back the butternut squash and rest of your cayenne pepper. Stir. Cover and let continue cooking on L until the squash is tooth-tender. Serve over rice and enjoy the hearty, spicy goodness while contemplating the beauty of that forecast thunderstorm.

Leftover Greens Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c ground Hot sausage
  • 1.5-2c leftover New Years collards from Dad
  • 1 can field peas with snaps
  • 3c chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1tsp McCormick’s Hamburger Seasoning

Cook your sausage in a medium pot on M, breaking it up as it browns until it is as finely crumbled as possible. Once that is accomplished, throw in the collards and (well drained but not rinsed) can of field peas. Toss them with the sausage crumbles, using the grease to get everything nice and flavorful. Add asafoetida, garlic and McCormick’s; stir. Add chicken broth and bring to a very gentle boil. As the temperature is increasing, add the cashew butter. Stir until the cashew butter is completely melted into the stock. Once it is, turn heat to the lowest setting you’ve got and let sit until dinner time.

Because the low tonight is 23° there seems fewer better options than soup (besides, beans weren’t soaked for chili). For leftovers, there are rarely other options after a few days. While using them all is a goal towards which I strive, I no longer recognize leftovers as edible once they’ve been in the fridge for a few days. They will taste like the fridge. So the rest of the holiday collards — for this was only approximately half of what there was — are in the freezer. Because no one in their right mind wastes good greens.

10 out of 10

In my pantry today:

  • 1 XL sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 box plain couscous

So like most people with families, I’ve been doing other, holiday-related business all damn day. When I walked blindly into the kitchen I automatically pulled something from that “we gonna go bad if’n you don’t cook us” list. Whenever sans plan, default to the produce drawer. Cupboard, in this case. I pulled out the highest ranking “bout to go” item and set about tinkering. Tinkering… for success.

Julienne your sweet potato while the finely-sliced leek is sizzling on M. Once the edges of your leeks brown, throw in the potato and seasonings; toss until everything is real friendly together then add the broth. Turn the pan up to MH and once it begins boiling, cover and reduce heat to ML. After leaving it the hell alone for twenty minutes, return to remove and reserve both the potato and broth. Put your cashew butter in the pan and slowly add the liquid back in, stirring consistently until you’ve got the consistency of that gravy people sometimes eat on their morning biscuits. Gently fold the sweet potato back in. Serve over plain couscous. I had no idea cashew gravy could be so meaty-delicious. I give this impromptu dinner experiment a 10 out of 10 (on that 1-10 scale I’ve never actually implemented in any real or consistent way).