Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread

Recently I was asked about vegan cheeses that don’t need to be fermented, and I realized I didn’t have much to offer here in my recipe collection. I decided to experiment a little, and I actually came out with this really great Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread on the first try! It’s very simple to make, and I think it took about 15 minutes.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread Quesadillas | Orthodox and Vegan
I used the cashew cheez to make vegan quesadillas – you should be able to get six to eight small quesadillas out of this recipe, depending on how thick you spread it. I like to use the little corn tortillas.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread in Bean Dip | Orthodox and Vegan
I didn’t get quite so many because I used most of it making delicious cheesy bean dips! I folded the quesadillas and filled them with bean dip. It was a little messy…but wonderful. And did I mention this cashew cheez recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day?

If you’re cooking a meal for a family of four, I would recommend using all the cashew cheez spread for the quesadillas, and topping them with black beans or bean dip, guacamole, and chopped veggies or salsa. Then, instead of making a mess like I did, eat them with a knife and fork!

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread | Orthodox and Vegan
Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread
3/4 raw cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder
3/4 C vegetable broth
3/4 C water or plain unsweetened almond milk
Optional:
Dash of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
Dash or turmeric, for color

Blend all ingredients until smooth (you may not get it perfectly smooth if you don’t have a high-powdered blender). Pour into a small sauce pan and whisk over high heat until it thickens into a spreadable consistency. It will not be completely firm, although it will continue to firm up if you chill it. This cheez doesn’t get to the point of being sliceable.

Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread is great for:
-Quesadillas
-Nachos
-Queso Bean Dip (or Queso “Beef” Dip with TVP & taco seasonings, or Queso Fresco with salsa)
-Cheezy Chili Veggie Dog

With Man There is Chaos

Orthodox Quotes: "Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos, Everything is distorted and turned around. Because of our disobedience to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we have lost the natural order. In order to reestablish this order, we must practice abstinence." Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica | Orthodox and Vegan

Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos, Everything is distorted and turned around. Because of our disobedience to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we have lost the natural order. In order to reestablish this order, we must practice abstinence. – Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

We Have Not That Which God Seeks

Orthodox Quotes: "Our breath stinks from fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility." -the Desert Fathers | Orthodox and Vegan

Our breath stinks from fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility. – The Desert Fathers

I have to admit when I first read this quote, the part about bad breath is what stood out to me the most. Like, “Oh good, that’s been happening to everyone since forever.” It may have taken a little longer for the rest to sink in.

This is the Way that Thou Shalt Keep the Fast

Orthodox Quotes: "This fasting. . .if the commandments of the Lord are kept, is very good. This, then, is the way that thou shalt keep the fast. First of all, keep thyself from every evil word and every evil device, and purify thy heart from all the vanities of this world. If thou keep these things, thy fast shall be perfect for thee. And thus shalt thou do. Having fulfilled what is written, on that day on which thou fastest, thou shalt taste nothing but bread and water; and from my meals which thou wouldest have eaten, thou shalt reckon up the amount of that day's expenditure, which thou wouldest have incurred, and shalt give it to a widow, or an orphan, or to one in want, and so shalt thou humble thy soul, that he that received from thy humiliation may satisfy his own soul, and may pray for thee to the Lord. If then thou shalt so accomplish this fast, as I have commanded thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable in the sight of God, and this fasting shall be recorded; and the service so performed is beautiful and joyous, and acceptable to the Lord." Shepherd of Hermas | Orthodox and Vegan

This fasting. . .if the commandments of the Lord are kept, is very good. This, then, is the way that thou shalt keep the fast. First of all, keep thyself from every evil word and every evil device, and purify thy heart from all the vanities of this world. If thou keep these things, thy fast shall be perfect for thee. And thus shalt thou do. Having fulfilled what is written, on that day on which thou fastest, thou shalt taste nothing but bread and water; and from my meals which thou wouldest have eaten, thou shalt reckon up the amount of that day’s expenditure, which thou wouldest have incurred, and shalt give it to a widow, or an orphan, or to one in want, and so shalt thou humble thy soul, that he that received from thy humiliation may satisfy his own soul, and may pray for thee to the Lord. If then thou shalt so accomplish this fast, as I have commanded thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable in the sight of God, and this fasting shall be recorded; and the service so performed is beautiful and joyous, and acceptable to the Lord. – Shepherd of Hermas

Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake

I promised more recipes using pea protein, and here’s another: A Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake that’s great post workout. My experimenting took a little longer than I thought, but I’ll have a couple more recipes to share this coming week. Pea protein is my new favorite thing, I’m putting it in everything. I tried this recipe two different ways so I can give you a few tips about the flavor.

Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake | Orthodox and Vegan
Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake
1 1/2 C Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 C Raw Cashews
1 Scoop Pea Protein
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter Powder*

Blend all ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Drink! It makes about 16oz total, with approximately 39 grams of protein, half your iron for the day, and nearly 2/3 of your calcium. It’s very filling, it was enough to hold me over until lunch.

I first tried the recipe with only half a scoop of protein powder because I was afraid it would ruin the taste. Not only could I barely taste it at all, the almond milk seemed way too sweet (I’m used to the unsweetened stuff). I tried it again with a full scoop, and the flavor was still good. If you’d like to cut down on the sugar, you could always use an unsweetened almond milk and customize it with as much maple syrup as you’d like. One tablespoon of maple syrup has 14g of sugar, compared to 26g in 1.5 C of sweetened almond milk.

*In the picture it looks like I’m using PB2. I’m actually just reusing a container, it’s filled with Protein Plus Peanut Flour. I like it better because there are no additives, so it has slightly more protein. It’s also cheaper! Unfortunately the bag is not resealable, hence the old PB2 container.

Have you tried pea protein? If you have, let us know your favorite way to use it in the comments below!

Clean Wednesday, 2017: Fasting is Wonderful

Orthodox Quotes: "Fasting is wonderful because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower." St. John Chrysostom | Orthodox and Vegan

Fasting is wonderful because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.” – St. John Chrysostom

Fasting is wonderful, but I’m looking forward to doing some cooking today, and sampling a few things at the Lenten potluck tonight after Presanctified Liturgy. I’m planning to do a sort of roasted garlic scalloped potato dish with a tahini-based sauce. Recipe coming soon. What are you bringing to the potluck tonight?

Clean Tuesday, 2017: Grant Me Tears

Orthodox Quotes from Great Compline: "Grant Me Tears, O God" | Orthodox and Vegan

Grant me tears, O God, as once to the sinning woman of old; and graciously vouchsafe that I may wash Thy feet which delivered me from the path of straying, and that I may offer unto Thee an ointment of sweet fragrance, even a pure life, fashioned by my repentance. And so shall I, also, hear Thy voice which I long for, saying: Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

-Troparia in the Plagal Fourth Mode, as chanted in Great Compline on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings

Clean Monday, 2017: Defender of My Soul

Orthodox Quotes: "Be Thou the Defender of my soul, O God, for I walk amidst a multitude of snares. Deliver me from them, and save me, O good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind." From the Service of Great Compline | Orthodox and Vegan

Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, that I sleep not unto death, lest mine enemy say: I have prevailed over him.

Be Thou the Defender of my soul, O God, for I walk amidst a multitude of snares. Deliver me from them, and save me, O good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

-Troparia in the Second Mode as chanted in Great Compline on Mondays and Wednesdays of Great Lent

Wishing you all good strength during the Great Fast!