DINNER TONIGHT: Squash soup and cashew/spinach cheeze on campari tomatoes

I had the spinach and the kale from the CSA share last week, and I had the new supply of cashews, in addition to a leftover butternut squash and a couple of apples.  What to do for dinner?

I decided I wanted to save the kale for our Thanksgiving dinner, so it was time to experiment with a spinach/cashew cheeze — something I have considered, but never gotten around to.

With the squash and the apples, I made soup.

2 C spinach
1 C cashews
2 lg cloves garlic
1/4 C hot sesame oil
pinch sea salt
1/2 t apple cider vinegar
Campari tomatoes

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process to smooth (you could use a VitaMix – I would have, but mine is broken)
  • Slice tomatoes about 1/4. thick.
  • Spread cheeze on tomatoes and arrange on plate.

Note: I use campari tomatoes because they are small and give only 2 or 3 forkfuls.  You could use roma tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes.  (I have even used grape tomatoes – hollowing them out and stuffing them, but that was more work than I want to do again – although it did look cute)

2/3 med. butternut squash, chopped
2 med. apples, chopped
1/2 C cashews
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T hot sesame oil
1 t Spike (or other salt-free seasoning)
1 t black pepper
pinch sea salt
warm water as needed to make a thick creamy soup

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy.
  • Add water as needed to obtain desired consistency.

CHEEZ PLEEZ: I’m aging a cheez!

I’m aging a cheez!  Don’t gasp! It is not like what is happening to the corners of your eyes! Aging is the same as fermenting, and it only takes a day or so!  You can do it in the privacy of your own home!

I’ve just tried out the Dr. Cow Aged Cashew Cheeze with Brazil Nuts, and I KNOW I can do better! (yea!!!! I won’t have to pay so much money, and I can control all the variables, including attitude and care).

Last night I made a quickie cheez – I call it smoked jalapeno cashew cheez.   Tonight, I added some Zukay salad dressing (it is made with live cultures, and it is raw, so it is my “lazy” way to culture things — got the idea from the horse’s mouth, actually, when I was talking with the people behind Zukay — I mean, I could use acidophilus, and I have some in my kitchen, but… I have this wonderful live cultured salad dressing with a good taste, and, so, well…)

The instant cheez is really good, but its shelf life (refrigerator life is only about 3 days. No way I could eat that much in that short a time.  Adding the acidophilus culture dressing gives an added flavor, but makes my original cheez a bit gooey, so, I am draining it , in the same way you do with many cheezes, wrapped in cheesecloth and draining through a wire mesh basket.

It will be yummy!  Tune in tomorrow for more news!


I’ve been busy.

Tonight, I am going to find out if my brilliant idea about another way to age cheeze has worked – either it is going to be very delicious, or it is going to have been a waste of two cups of cashews. I will know when I get back from yoga tonight – I am letting it age for 24 hrs.  Hanging and draining it hasn’t made it any drier (maybe I used too much cheesecloth), and pressing it just made it seem gooey and sticky.  Pray for my cheeze, pleeze!  If it comes out right, I will do another one tonight.  If it doesn’t come out right, I will do another different kind tonight.

REJUVELAC WEEK: Day 2 and Day 3

REJUVELAC WEEK: Making Rejuvelac: DAY 2
In the morning, I poured out the soak water and rinsed the wheat, then drained it and upended the jars on the dish-drying rack.

In the evening, I saw tiny sprouts.  I rinsed, drained, and returned the jars to the dishrack.

REJUVELAC WEEK! Making Rejuvelac: Day 3

This morning, I saw little sprouts.  I rinsed, drained, and returned the jars, up-ended, to the dishrack.

This evening, I had nice long, spidery sprouts.  I rinsed, and drained, and started STEP II of rejuvelac:

  • I put a jar of sprouts in the VitaMix (you could also use a regular blender), covered them with 2 inches of water, and blended for about 30 seconds, until the grains were cracked, but not totally ground.
  • Then I poured the blended mix back into the jar, and poured 1 C of filtered water into the VitaMix jar, swished it around to catch the remaining grains, and poured it out into the Mason jar.  I saw some more grains left in the VitaMix, so I poured in another C of filtered water, swished it around, and poured all into the Mason jar.
  • Finally, I filled the jar to the neck with filtered water, put the mesh cap back on, and set it on the in the corner.

I repeated the steps for the second jar.

From here, I will stir the ingredients in the jars twice a day for three days, once in the morning, and once in the evening..

I am planning to make one jar of plain rejuvelac, which I want to use for making cheeze, and making a rejuvelac wine with the second jar.

If you want to think ahead:





My Cheez Experiment: Slice-able Cheez

I have been playing around. I wanted to know about agar-agar, also known as kanten. My room-mate brought me a package of two “logs” from Japan.  I had read that flakes or powder were better, so I tore up the kanten (a lot) and reduced it to small flakes/powder in my coffee grinder. Then I waited for the right recipe to appear.

Reading through my library of vegan/raw vegan books, I came across a recipe for “Swiss Cheez” in a vegan cookbook , The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, by Joan Stepaniak.  . I made the recipe as described, but I did not initially like the taste of the mix, so I added in other spices. The result I got was still not what I want, but it tastes okay on a cracker (not on its own – no way – yuck!!!)  The good thing about this recipe is that it produces a slice-able cheez with a texture similar to Velveeta.

SWISS CHEEZ  (adapted from a recipe in The Uncheese Cookbook by Joan Stepaniak)

1-1/2 C water
5 T kanten flakes (not raw)
1/2 C cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes (not raw)
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T onion powder
2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t mustard powder
1/2 t dried dill

Bring the water and the agar flakes to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat and continue to cook for 5 mins. Stir frequently. After 5 mins, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 mins.
Place all ingredients, including agar solution, in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into an oiled 3 C rectangular container. Cover and chill for 3 – 8 hrs.
Turn out of mold and slice.

Refrigerate in an airtight container.

When I took it out, the cheez was amazingly firm and slice-able, with a texture similar to Velveeta. When I tasted a piece of it, it tasted nasty. What can I tell you.

I left it in the refrigerator (heck! The ingredients cost me a pretty penny)
This evening, I went back to the concoction and put it on the new sunflower/flax seed crackers I made on Friday night. That was much better. Yea! I do not have to throw the whole thing out. I just need to figure out how to spice the next one. The basic part of this recipe is still valuable. I should add that my room-mate likes it as is

NEW SALAD DRESSING: old standby recipe!

I have been using my cheddar cheez recipe lately as a salad dressing.  I first did it with arugula, but then, I started thinking that it is, basically, a creamy red bell pepper dressing with a cheesy flavor, so I have been watering it down for most salads lately.


1 C cashews
1/3 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1 t onion salt
1/2 t sea salt

Blend all ingredients together.

Add 1 t chili powder


I’ve got 3 graduating classes this weekend, so I am making crackers and cheez… I am making my two favorite cracker recipes – my delicious corn crackers based on a recipe I learned from Lillian Butler at the long-gone Raw Soul and my sunflower seed crackers based on a recipe from Living in the Raw, by Rose Ann Calabro. I think I might make two cheezes – one spicy– or I might make some salsa with my leftover tomato sauce from the zucchini pasta last night.

It is always “fun” when I bring y students the crackers — they are not quite sure if they should try them because they are American-made, and many of my foreign students are convinced they cannot like anything American. I know I will get fans from the people who want “halal” or “kosher”, and I have quite a few of those.

The best time was when I had a raw foodist in my class… he was standing around smiling shyly and avoiding all the food on the table, but when I explained to him that I, the raw food teacher, had brought the crackers and cheez, and that I could personally attest to the fact that they were made of totally raw vegan ingredients and even give him the recipe, he came over and chowed down with the rest of the class.