su chee (yes, another sandwich)

I love carbs and I love sandwiches. Sorry for posting so many, but…I can’t help it. Anyway, tonight I had dinner with my family and everyone else ate hamburgers. I try to avoid Boca Burgers, so I decided to use up the rest of the dry tofu I bought for the sushi the other day.

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The sandwich:

Dry tofu & a thick slice of onion, pan fried in olive oil with salt, pepper and garlic. I threw in a big slice of tomato for the last couple minutes. My cashew spread made yet another appearance on the top and bottom buns. Lettuce, pickles and potato chips topped off with plenty of ketchup and mustard.

Corn on the cob smothered in Smart Balance and salt and a nice fruit salad on the side. I wish I had another sandwich….

fourmis adultes sur un bois

I don’t do a whole lot of cooking on weekends. Saturday I got the All You Can Eat special at a local Ethiopian restaurant, last night I went to a Chinese buffet. Today I went to the monastery for confession and the nuns prepared a nice pasta meal for lunch. I just wanted a light snack when I got home, so I went with a variation of the classic Ants on a Log. I guess it’s like “adult” mac n cheese…adult ants on a log.

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I filled the celery with my cashew spread. From the top, the ants are:
Green onions & romaine lettuce, raisins & pistachios, pistachios & green onions

Oh, and on the way back from the monastery we stopped and picked about 100 grape leaves. I think I’m going to have to make some soon.

yummy snack & sushi salad

Today I had to take my pooch to the vet right around dinner time, so I wanted to have a quick snack first. I had some Kavli Garlic Crispybread (basically a giant, thin cracker with only 50 calories per serving of three pieces). I made a couple little open face sandwiches with the cashew spread I made earlier in the week, and some veggies.

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The spread got nice and thick in the fridge, and it tasted great with the garlic & tomatoes.

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…and I have a whole jar to experiment with!

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When I have leftover ingredients from making sushi, but not enough to make another roll (or am just too lazy to make another roll), I throw the stuff in a bowl all together and make a kind of salad. I added some chopped pickled ginger, and then a little Kikkoman Sushi & Sashimi soy sauce.

Anyway, that was a couple hours ago, and now I’m hungry again!

vegan nut cheese, day 2

So, I took the nut spread out of the (cool) oven today to change plates and paper towel. The paper towel was starting to look a little sketchy, so I would def recommend changing it at least once every 24 hours. You lose a little of the spread when you change it because it will stick, but it’s better than moldy cheese. Although…I guess some people like that.

This is the “whey” that dripped out of it so far. If you decided to use a fermenting agent, it will be in this liquid and you can reuse it if you’re going to use it right away. It doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, but maybe it smells kind of cheesy, I guess I don’t remember. The spread already has a nice tangy flavor, but I’m leaving it until tomorrow because I want it a little stronger. Here’s what it looks like so far:

I’ll post more after dinner…

vegan nut cheese, day 1

I started my nut cheese today! I decided to go with the cashews first because that’s the one I’ve been the most hungry for. The process is simple, it’s the waiting that’s hard.

This is another loose recipe, where I just kind of dump things in until it seems about right. You will need:

raw cashews (I used, according to the bag, 0.66 lbs)
fresh lemon juice
salt
some sort of fermenting liquid (optional, you don’t have to ferment)

The sauerkraut juice I’m using to ferment, as I mentioned before, is from my mom. You can also buy raw fermented sauerkraut at some health food stores, and use that liquid. Apparently there are pickles made the same way, but I haven’t tried them yet. Just so you know, most sauerkraut isn’t made by fermenting any more, it just has vinegar in it to give it a fermented flavor. That kind of sauerkraut juice won’t work for fermenting.  I’ve made this “cheese” a bunch of times without actually fermenting it, though, and it’s still good.

So, you can start by soaking your nuts over night. I didn’t do that because I didn’t think ahead! I’ll do it tomorrow with the almonds, though. Last time I soaked mine covered in water with 2 Tbsp of the sauerkraut juice, but plain water is fine, too.

This time, I just put the nuts in the blender right out of the bag, added a few teaspoons of kosher salt, covered them with water and added about 5 or 6 tablespoons of sauerkraut juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I had to add more water a couple times so it could blend properly, I had it on Liquify to get it nice and super smooth.

I think I must’ve added a total of about 1 cup of liquid. Next, get your colander out and sit it on top of a plate. You can line it either with cheese cloth, or with damp paper towel. I used six connected sheets of paper towel folded over three times, so it was two sheets wide. As I am typing this I kind of wish I had only used four sheets, to make sure the excess liquid can get out easily, but we’ll see what happens.
Pour the mixture onto the paper towel. Mine looks extra wet because after I got most of the mix, I added more water to the canister and used the Easy Clean button to get the rest out.


It doesn’t look very pretty…. Then fold the paper towel over the mixture.

Now find something heavy to sit on the mixture, to press the excess liquid out. I think the easiest thing is to put a small plate on top, then sit some soup cans on it, or mason jars filled with water. The liquid will drip out onto the plate below the colander. Find a place for this to sit at least over night. I’m sticking mine in the oven.

I’ll probably leave mine until Wednesday evening when I get home from work. I just checked it and it looks like it’s draining well, but I’ll probably change the paper towels tomorrow at some point anyway, just to keep them fresh.

bake sale update!

Good news, friends:

The bake sale this afternoon went very well, and I’m pleased to say every last one of my baked goods sold! The only bad part is I wanted to eat more of them myself.
Also, my mom gave me a jar of juice from the sauerkraut she fermented. It can be used to ferment other things, like the nut cheeses I plan to make this week. I’m kind of excited!