Mediterranean Cucumber Soup with Dill and Walnuts

Mediterranean Cucumber Soup with Dill and Walnuts

Some things are just meant to be together-peanut butter & jelly, socks and shoes, Kurt and Goldie, and cucumbers & Dill. An American mainstay, cucumber seeds were brought to North America by European settlers in the late 16th century. The cucumber, however, is native to India, and at around 3,000 years old, it is one of the world’s oldest cultivars.

Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.  Other members of this family include watermelon, muskmelon, pumpkin, and squash. Some fun cucumber facts:

  • Cucumbers contain 96 percent water.
  • The inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than its outside.
  • One-half cup of sliced cucumbers contains only eight calories.
  • Fresh extracts from cucumbers have recently been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

When I was a kid, a cucumber is what my mom diced up and put on a salad. Since then, I’ve used them as crudités, made pickles out ’em, and I love them as under-eye pads for puffy eyes. But until now, I’ve never had them as the main star of a soup! You can also use them (in no particular order) to:

  • Got a slug or grub problem? Dice cucumbers and put them on an aluminum pan in the garden. The aluminum reacts with the cucumber and gives off a scent they don’t care for.
  • For their fiber and water, which helps fight constipation.
  • Got some funky bugs? They contain erepsin, an enzyme, which is known to kill tapeworms.
  • As a hangover cure because they have enough B vitamins, electrolytes, and sugar to replenish essential nutrients that alcohol absorbs from your body.
  • Reducing cellulite. Applying slices directly to the skin allows phytochemicals in cucumbers to tighten collagen for a firm complexion.
  • Grow long, beautiful hair. Cucumber juice provides silicon, sodium, calcium, sulfur, etc., all of which are nutrients needed for hair growth and hair strengthening.
  • Got a toddler? They can even remove crayons, markers, and pen marks on walls.

The other main ingredient in the soup is our friend, Dill. Dill, as we all know, is an herb. But did you know that it has health benefits that are almost too many to name? Dill is packed with flavonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But that’s not the only reason Dill is thought to improve heart health. Research on animals shows that Dill can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Thank you, WebMD! Dill also:

  • Can help regulates Diabetes– The presence of bioactive ingredient Eugenol in dill leaves has potent anti-diabetic properties, which play a crucial role in alleviating the blood sugar levels within the body.
  • Promotes Digestion.
  • Fortifies Bone Health.
  • Prevents Infections.
  • Remedies Insomnia

Add in some heart-healthy walnuts and friends. This soup might be a magic elixir, the proverbial unicorn of soups! With roots in eastern Europe, this Mediterranean “çorba” (Turkish for soup) is similar to the Turkish Casik, which uses yogurt as its base. I tried various versions of this, and I settled on this version. I loved the addition of red pepper flakes and tarragon! If you make it, tag me and let me know how you liked it!


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Mediterranean Cucumber Soup with Dill and Walnuts

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large European (traditional) cucumber, or 3 small Persian cucumbers, small diced
  • 2 cups plain vegan greek style yogurt (I used Kite Hill)
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 small scallions, trimmed and diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup shelled walnuts, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place a colander in a sink or over a bowl, add cucumbers and salt. Stir well, and let sit for about 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk olive oil, yogurt, and lime juice together until smooth.
  3. Gradually whisk in water until you achieve the desired consistency.
  4. In a mortar or a bowl, grind garlic clove with a pinch of salt into a paste.
  5. Add garlic, cucumbers, scallions, walnuts, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
  6. This step is optional, but you can add one ice cube to each bowl and then ladle the soup on top.
  7. Garnish each bowl with chopped parsley, one thin slice of lime, red pepper flakes, sliced red onion, olive oil, and walnuts.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

Japanese cucumbers would also work.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 134 calories

Keywords: Vegan Soup, cucumber soup

Pan-Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

Pan-Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

I’ll be honest. I am not a fan of cauliflower. To me, it’s the bottom rung on the ladder of cruciferous vegetables. I despise cauliflower rice, and raw cauliflower gags me. But one evening, a chef friend of mine made me a cauliflower steak for dinner. Ever gracious, I took a deep breath and a steak knife and took my first bite. Well, I guess the rest is history, as they say since I’m writing a recipe for cauliflower steaks! 

I chose to pan-sear the steaks to get that nice brown crust, and then I finished them off in the oven to speed up the cooking process. I also used safflower oil to cook with since it has a high smoke point of 501°, to be exact. Olive oil has a medium smoke point cannot be heated past 405°. Fat begins to break when heated past its smoking point, releasing free radicals and a substance called acrolein, the chemical that gives burnt foods their acrid flavor and aroma. Think watering eyes, a stinky kitchen, and bitter, scorched food.

The critical thing to note in this recipe is how to stem and cut the cauliflower. I found that removing the outer green leaves and most but not all of the stem is crucial. Trim off the bottom of the cauliflower stem but make sure to keep the core intact. I find that one large head of cauliflower makes about three 1 1/2 ” steaks. To ensure flat sides, I trim the outer edges of the cauliflower on each side-taking off about an inch and a half. Slice carefully. 

If you make the steaks be sure to tag me and let me know how you like them! Enjoy!

 


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Pan-Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Steaks 1x

Description

This cauliflower steak is so flavorful and quite filling!  Be sure to buy a large head to ensure decent size steaks.  And using Montreal steak seasoning is a perfect way to spice them up!  You can top with a variety of roasted vegetables and creamy mild tasting white beans for protein!


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Heat a cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe, heavy bottom frying pan over medium-high heat. When warm add, two tablespoons of safflower oil. 
  3. Brush each side of the cauliflower steaks with oil and sprinkle with Montreal seasoning.
  4. Carefully add steaks to a frying pan and sear each side until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. When steaks are golden brown, remove the pan from the heat put directly in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender. 
  6. Carefully remove pan from oven.  Plate cauliflower steaks and drizzle with chimichurri sauce.
  7. Serve immediately.

Notes

*This oil is high in vitamin E; one tablespoon contains 28% of a person’s daily recommended intake of the nutrient. It has a high smoke point and doesn’t have a strong flavor, which means it won’t overwhelm a dish.

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce

This delicious herb-based sauce comes from the Argentinian/Uruguay areas of South America. Chimichurri is often served as an accompaniment to asados or grilled meats. It also makes a great marinade, and it’s perfect as a drizzle on my Smoky Cauliflower Steaks! 

This sauce is one of my go-to’s for a variety of Buddha Bowls. It’s also great to use as an oil-based marinade. The longer it sits, the better it is, so I recommend making it a few days before you want to use it for the best flavor. It keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 


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Chimichurri Sauce

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x

Description

You can use this delicious Argentinian-based sauce in a variety of ways! You can use it as a marinade for tofu or as a drizzle on your Buddha Bowls or roasted veggies! I do not blend all ingredients in a food processor, or blender like many recipes do. You don’t want a paste-like pesto. You want a loosely packed oil with herbs.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of one lemon, and the juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or two small chilies, seeded & minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Combine shallot, chiles or cayenne, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in minced cilantro and parsley.  Add oregano.
  4. Using a fork, gradually whisk in oil.
  5. Transfer Chimichurri to a small bowl; season with salt.

Beetroot Salad with Cilantro & Cumin

Beetroot Salad with Cilantro & Cumin

When I was a kid, I wouldn’t say I liked beets. As an adult, I was determined to make nice. And I’m so glad I did. They are not only delicious, but they are also super healthy. Rich in folate (Vitamin B9), they help the body make red blood cells. Like Anthocyanins in red grapes and Beta Carotene in carrots, beets contain Betalains which are unique nitrogen-containing pigments and are cancer and heart protective.

This recipe makes a great salad year-round! It makes a lovely addition to a holiday table, and it’s a delicious and easy salad to make in the summer. I PROCESS MY BEETS IN THE PRESSURE COOKER because I’m not particularly eager to turn on the oven in the summer. But you can use an oven just the same. Typically, I don’t boil them because they lose their deep red color. If you choose to boil them, leave about one inch of stem intact to help minimize color loss while cooking,

If you want to really jazz it up you can use half red and half golden beets.  It is also yummy with chopped pistachios and vegan feta!

If you make the salad, tag me let me know how you liked it!


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Beetroot Salad with Cumin & Cilantro

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Description

Easy year-round salad, everyone is sure to love!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 medium red beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro

Instructions

If using an oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet parchment paper.
  2. Clean the trimmed beets and place on the baking sheet. Roast for one hour, or until fork tender. Cool, peel, and cut into small diced pieces.

If using a pressure cooker:

  1. Add 2 cups water and cleaned, stemmed beets to pressure cooker.  Cook on high for 7 minutes.
  2. Cool, peel, and cut into small diced pieces.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, puree one of the cooked beets in a blender or food processor with all remaining ingredients, except the cilantro.
  4. Before serving, toss the beets with vinaigrette. Adjust seasonings to taste and garnish with cilantro.
  5. Serve warm or cold.

 

Italian Sausage Pizza with Garlic White Sauce & Caramelized Onion

Italian Sausage Pizza with Garlic White Sauce & Caramelized Onion
Who doesn’t love a good pizza? As a vegan, though, we are often left out in the cold with a pizza with no cheese. In fact, I’m pretty sure cheese is the only reason most people eat pizza! If you’re like me, store-bought cheeses are out of the question. They’re usually off in texture, or there’s something funky about the flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent options these days, but they’re usually costly and leave me wondering about better options.
Without ado, I present the better option— This creamy garlic cashew sauce. It could not be easier to make, and I promise you will never miss cheese on a pizza again. Promise. I simply made it of cashews, filtered water, garlic and onion powder, oregano, salt, and nutritional yeast. The sheer simplicity of the sauce makes it a favorite of mine. Not to mention the ease with which it comes together. Throw it all in a blender and hit go. I have a high-powered Vitamix, and it takes me a solid minute or so to blend. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, I recommend boiling the cashews for 10-15 minutes and then rinse and blend.
Hungry Planet makes a mean Italian sausage that cooks up quickly and tastes fantastic. However, I have to be careful not to eat it all before adding it to my pizza! You don’t want to overcook it! So I brown it over medium heat for just a few minutes (3-5) until it gets a bit brown. And then I finish cooking it in the oven.
The caramelized onions add a natural sweetness and pair perfectly with the spicy Italian sausage. The key to good caramelization is the “Low and Slow” motto. Also, I never use oil, only water, and salt, when I caramelize. You won’t let the onions, which are very high in water content, release their water, just not too much, too fast. If the onions begin to stick, add a tablespoon or two of water.
The other key to a good pizza is the crust, of course. If you are a purist and like baking, then making your crust is the way to go. I wouldn’t say I enjoy baking and found an excellent store-bought crust that I love.
If you make this, drop me a line and let me know how you liked it!

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Italian Sausage Pizza with Garlic White Sauce & Caramelized Onion

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Ingredients

Scale

Garlic White Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews* (see note)
  • 8 oz filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt

Caramelized Onions

  • 2 medium-size sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • water

Pizza


Instructions

  1. If you have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, add all white sauce ingredients and blend well until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Add sliced onion to a large skill and cook over medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt, continue cooking until softened and browned for about 15 minutes. If the onions begin to stick, add water one tablespoon at a time until they release. Remove onions from the pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add Italian sausage and cook over medium heat until slightly browned about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add approximately 1 cup of sauce to each crust, top with onions and Italian sausage. I also added a tablespoon of red pepper flakes to add a little heat.
  5. Bake at 400° for about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Let cool and slice.

Notes

**If you do not have a high speed blender, soak your cashews overnight, or boil for 10-15 minutes.

 

 

Courtney K’s Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

Courtney K’s Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

I love summer. I love the long warm days, eating juicy watermelon by the pound, and spending as much time in the water as possible. Summer’s bounty includes tomatoes, cucumbers, cherries, all the berries, but especially strawberries. I have fond memories of those little round shortcakes filled with fresh strawberries and cool-whip my mom used to make! And I still love it.

I have also grown quite fond of fresh rhubarb. Although rhubarb is a vegetable, it is often put to the same culinary use as a fruit. The leaf stalks can be used raw (I love it thinly shaved), and it tastes a lot like celery. But most commonly, it is boiled down with sugar and made into things like pies or this sorbet! 

When choosing rhubarb, look for crisp stalks that are firm and tender. Try to avoid stalks that are too woody or thick. And unlike its friend, the strawberry, color doesn’t have much impact on taste.

There is some sugar in this recipe but do not reduce the amount. Sugar lowers the freezing point of water and helps prevent crystallization. 

Finally, when choosing strawberries, look for the gariguette strawberry. They are the sweetest and most fragrant strawberries you’ll ever taste. If you can’t find the french variety, try to buy them locally if you can. A fresh strawberry should be firm to the touch, bright red, and free of bruises. And yellowish/green berries do not ripen at home, so remember that when you won’t think you want summer berries in December! 


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Courtney K’s Strawberry Rhubarb Sorbet

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 6 chill/freezer
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minute
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: Desserts
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Basically frozen water, fruit, and sugar, a sorbet is a perfect summer dessert!  This frozen base would also be great as a margarita, or daiquiri.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 stalks of fresh rhubarb, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb stemmed and chopped gariguette strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced 
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the rhubarb is quite soft. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and carefully mix until smooth. If using a blender, do so in batches so the mixture doesn’t overflow and burns you. Chill the mixture in the fridge for about 3 hours, or until cool. (About one hour in the freezer).
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If you are not using an ice cream maker, you can also pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze. It will be ready in about 3-4 hours. Best made the day before and frozen overnight.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup

Keywords: frozen sorbet, strawberry rhubarb sorbet

Creamy Agave Poppyseed Dressing

Creamy Agave Poppyseed Dressing

The other night I took my eight-year-old daughter out to dinner at a famous sit-down restaurant. We were super hungry and thought about getting an appetizer, but there was nothing under 900 calories! So we opted to have a side salad. We got it with no cheese (for the love of Pete, stopping putting cheddar cheese on a salad), but the dressing she chose had honey and eggs. She loved it and asked if we could make some at home. To please my veggie-loving baby, I got straight to work.

I found a copycat recipe and worked off of that. WOW, there was a lot of sugar and oil in that bad boy! I mean, aren’t salads supposed to be healthy? I kicked out four tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of unnecessary vegetable oil. This recipe is yummy. If you’re oil-free, you will want to skip this one, but you could easily sub a plain vegan yogurt. If you do this, cut the milk. Otherwise, your dressing will be too runny.

Agave nectar was an excellent choice to replace sugar and honey. It is four times sweeter than regular table sugar, but it is low on the glycemic index. Frankly, you could even start with two tablespoons of nectar and add more to suit your taste. Coming in at 100 calories per serving, this dressing is a keeper!  I used it in a kale salad with strawberries and caramelized rhubarb, and it was divine!


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Creamy Agave Poppyseed Dressing

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Sweet and tangy, this creamy dressing comes together quickly and easily!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/3 cups vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk 
  • 1 1tablespoons poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine mayo and agave nectar.
  2. Add mustard, vinegar, and poppyseeds.
  3. Add milk and stir.
  4. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.  Keeps for 7 days.

Keywords: Vegan Poppyseed Dressing

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

The other day I got a letter addressed to me from AARP.  Yep, the American Association of Retired People.  I did a double-take and was immediately incensed that someone thought I was old enough to get a letter from Matt McCoy.  I tore it up and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  

The truth is, I’m turning fifty in November.  When I was a kid, I thought that a fifty-year-old person was old.  I mean, they weren’t old, old, but they were definitely old.   Then again, anyone over the age of 30 was old.  But what I am is neither young nor old.  I am no longer sprightly, yet not weary.  I am not foolhardy, but not wary and skittish either.   Sandwiched by aging parents and younger children, I am somewhere in the middle of all these things.  

If the year were 1921, I would have already lived 83.3% of my life. Yep, exactly one hundred years ago, the average lifespan for a woman was sixty-one and sixty-years-old for a man. Thanks to substantial health improvements (although this is declining in the US), we are all living longer lives.  They say fifty is the new forty, and technically it’s true.  Globally our lifespan has doubled since 1900.  We live longer, but our quality of life is diminishing, and the stigma of getting older still exists.  

For me, middle-age hasn’t meant much. According to my doctor, I have the bloodwork of a healthy twenty-five-year-old. I credit my plant-based diet, my yoga practice, and my love for physical activities. I have also recently taken up kayaking and trail running. After years of pounding the pavement, I am now more of a dirt and roots kind of girl. I am seeking things that challenge me physically and mentally push me out of my comfort zone. I am, as Thomas admonishes, “raging against the dying of the light.” I know that it is up to me to keep the flame burning bright. I think, therefore, I am.

But if age really is a state of mind, then I will leave you with the wise words of my Guru.  

“Growing old is a long-established habit of losing the authority to remain vital. It’s an approval and disapproval that’s passed through generations of DNA with body language, eye and facial expressions, tones of voice, gestures with the hands, and countless conversations about exhaustion. Staying young and vibrant throughout life — mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually — requires maintenance of an authority to be unique and never give up. This means honoring the cells of your body; the ideas in the mind, and the freedom to relate in a heart-to-heart way with everyone.

When conscious of this, you grow wiser and remain vital, and life’s stresses dissolve in a healthy awareness. Human beings need to capture this immortal authority. . . random traits with no real value, or vitality that do no good. To remain youthful, vital and healthy, you must give yourself permission to be full of yourself, and then validate this freedom. This freedom discovers the true nature of evolution . . . a step by step process of progress. It’s a trial with errors and healthy forgiveness with loving kindness . . . a check and balance that assures the ultimate accuracy of your growth. This allows you to keep up in the midst of “normal” doubt and the “looks” you’ll receive for impacting the Earth so dramatically.

Our prayer is that you choose to remain this vital and free, rather than following the habits of the crowd; that your ideas remain as tolerant of others as you expect others to be of you; that you connect your physical world to your immortal soul, and allow this marriage to guide you through a kind and loving life on Earth that extends the envelope everywhere, and does this well beyond one hundred years.” —Guru Singh Yogi

Raw Key Lime & Blue Spirulina Cheesecake

Raw Key Lime & Blue Spirulina Cheesecake

I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a long time. I also wanted to create a yummy recipe for the 4th of July. Hence, the raw cheesecake! Key Lime Pie screams summer, but I wanted to make something a little more festive for a holiday. At first, I tried making a red, white, and blue cheesecake, but that idea came crashing down when I couldn’t get a pretty red layer. It kept coming up pink. And on one occasion, it even turned brown! The alternative was to use food coloring, but I wanted to keep it clean. In the end, I decided the red should come from fresh raspberries. You could even use pomegranate arils, or pitted cherries as an alternative. It is beautiful, as well as delicious!

Since it does require some freezer time, you’ll want to make this the day before. For the first layer, I would recommend freezing for at least 3-4 hours before adding the second layer. When I made this the first time, I used soft-baked vegan oatmeal cookies pulsed with coconut oil for the crust. It was yummy, but it wasn’t raw. If you decide to use the cookies, you will need at least eight large soft-baked cookies and 1/4 cup coconut oil. I liked the addition of the raisins in my crust, but if you don’t, either pick them out or find oatmeal cookies without raisins (not easy to do, by the way).

If you make this let me know how you like it! Be sure to let the cheesecake thaw for at least 25-30 minutes before serving.


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Raw Key Lime & Blue Spirulina Cheesecake

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 24 hours
  • Total Time: 24 hours 10 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy and delicious cheesecake will surely be the hit of any summer party! 


Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 1 cup soaked raw pitted medjool dates
  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water, if needed

Lime layer:

  • 1 cup cashew nuts, soaked (soak overnight, or boil for 10 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted cacao butter
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Blue Spirulina Layer:

  • 1 cup cashew nuts, soaked (soak overnight, or boil for 10 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cacao butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Blue Spirulina Powder
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Crust: 

  1. Line a round 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blitz until a fine meal has formed.  The crust should stick together well. If too dry and crumbly, slowly add up to 1 tablespoon water.  
  3. Press mixture into pan, or small individual pans (will make about 12 small tarts).  
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  

Blue spirulina layer:

  1. Add all ingredients in a processor and process until smooth. 
  2. Pour mixture over the refrigerated crust. Place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.

Key Lime Layer:

  1. Repeat the same process for the key lime layer. Pour mixture over the set blue spirulina layer and freeze overnight. 
  1. 4. When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from mold and place it on top of the base and garnish with red fruit of choice and freshly grated lime zest. Allow to thaw for a few minutes before eating.
  1. Enjoy!

Notes

Be sure to soak, or boil your dates—especially if they have been around for awhile! 

Keywords: raw vegan

Sausage Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Spicy Cashew Queso

Sausage Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Spicy Cashew Queso

When I was a kid in the early ’80s, my parents used to take my brother and me to a Mexican restaurant in Kansas City called Manny’s. This restaurant helped form my palate as a child, with rich spices, flavorful and savory foods. It’s on my bucket list next time I go home! First, though, I always call ahead and speak with the chef about vegan options. It’s easier for everyone when a restaurant has a heads-up. You’re also guaranteed a much better dish when they’ve had a minute to think. 

Fortunately, back then, my dad spoke pretty good Spanish, so we could successfully order! I think now they have English speaking service, but back then…! I’m pretty confident my love for Mexican food comes from these early memories. One of my favorite dishes was the Chili Relleno. I loved them. This recipe isn’t quite that, mainly because Relleno’s are stuffed with gooey cheese, beef, and then deep-fried.

Thankfully, the world of plant-based meats has come a long way, baby. The options are endless these days, and most of them are good. They are also very expensive and can easily be replaced with our good friend, the mushroom! Back in the ’90s, I would have used Texturized Vegetable Protein, or TVP, or in my early vegetarian life. TVP is easy to use, loves to absorb flavor, and is super inexpensive. Today, I would prefer to use the mighty minced fungi.

Happy Summer to all of you! Nos vemos pronto. Cuídate!

Try and find poblanos that are large and uniformly shaped. Slice evenly down the one of the center lines.

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Sausage Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Spicy Cashew Queso

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 peppers 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 46 poblano peppers slices in half length wise (remove seeds and ribs)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil, or 1/4 cup water if no oil
  • 1 (12 oz.) package of plant-based sausage, or (12 oz) of minced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • ¾ cup cooked rice, quinoa, or amaranth
  • ½ cup of fresh/frozen corn kernels 
  • 1 (4 oz.) can of diced green chilies
  • 1 cup of Queso Blanco, or other vegan cheese of choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease, or line, a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange halved poblano peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When ready, add oil and when oil is shimmering, add the sausage or mushrooms, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until sausage is cooked through, use a spoon or spatula to break up sausage as it cooks.
  3. Add the spices and grain of choice to the pan, and stir well. Next, add red peppers and green chilies, mix well. Finally, add the black beans and corn, stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until sauce has reduced a bit. Remove from heat and let cool. 
  4. Spoon mixture into the peppers, drizzle with queso, and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Allow peppers to cool slightly before serving. Serve with minced cilantro and salsa.