Tag Archives: cashews

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Gosh, I can’t believe the results of the election. I am just so disappointed in the United States for making such a dumb vote. No really. I think anyone who voted for Trump over Hillary is an idiot who has no idea how the government, economy, and budgeting works. Period. If you are hiring a person to work, who would you hire? The person with zero skill sets and wasn’t very good at his previous job, or the highly qualified person? I think the thing that scares me the most is what this election symbolizes. I have a very bad feeling there will be a huge rise in hate crimes. I don’t think the government will fail and crumble, but I do think there will be some damage to a lot of human rights movements, the economy, and our government budget.

The saddest part is that I was getting many phone calls from Philadelphia asking if I voted yet. I was once registered in Pennsylvania when I was going to school at UArts. It was exciting to know my vote counted in a swing state. It helped elect president Obama. It felt awesome. And it is sad thinking that I have a voicemail from a woman asking if I could walk around the corner to vote, when I wasn’t registered to vote in that state. Yes, I am happy and proud that Clinton did so well in the state of New Jersey, but it is so depressing that my vote isn’t counting more. If we are lucky there will be a strong movement to change the electoral voting system.

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But I think it is important to keep on moving, so let’s talk about these Kimchi Nacho Tots. I thought about this dish after Olives For Dinner made some gochujang queso. Many people who eat Korean food might think cheese + gochujang seems like a mistake. But it is a pretty awesome combo. Making a platter similar to nachos with tater tots is a pretty American meal. But I prefer midwest method of making a bubbly casserole with the tater tots.

I like to eat these with some corn tortilla chips, lettuce, salsa, and korean pickles. Having the mix of soft melty cheese and potato and crunch cold textures is a match made in heaven. The recipe is pretty customizable, just keep things either tex-mex or asian inspired. Don’t want black beans? Try tofu or beef crumbles. Ran out of salsa? Try making some quick cucumber pickles with rice vinegar and sesame oil.

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For this recipe I used Daiya for the cheesy sauce. I don’t normally using fake cheese in this sort of way, but I ran out of nutritional yeast (oh no!) So this was a lot more rich than what I was use to. You can pick whatever cheese you want, but try and pick one similar to cheddar or monterey jack and it make sure it can melt. If it still isn’t your thing, feel free to use nutritional yeast. No biggie.

As for gochujang, it is an important part of the dish. It is a fermented chili paste that is popular in Korean cooking. The taste is pretty unique compared to other chili pastes out there. Luckily it is becoming increasingly more common place in groceries stores so you can grab some. If you live near a Korean or Asian food market you might be able to find MANY different kinds of gochujang. You can even pick from heat levels. If you don’t like hot, I suggest trying to get a mild version and using the max amount. If not, just cut down on the amount.

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If you still can’t find any gochujang, I recommend checking out my cheater’s gochujang recipe, that I listed below. It still uses Korean pepper, but that is much cheaper to get from Amazon online than a bottle of paste. 

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indonesian0

Happy Election Day! At least for the Americans. I have an exit strategy if Trump wins. I’ll dig a hole and living in the country on the other side. Sadly, New Jersey ends up in an ocean with no islands nearby. Plan busted. The closest one is Australia, and I thought that there are plenty of Vegan MOFOers from Australia. They probably all posted about local dishes yesterday. So I thought I would pick another country nearby- Indonesia (technically that would be opposite of Brazil… SOOOO not close to New Jersey XD)

I haven’t cooked much of their cuisine, but I have three cookbooks that have food from the area (or at least inspired food from the area.) One is Ani Phyo’s Raw Asian cookbook, okay so the authenticity is a stretch! The other is a cookbook that goes through the culture of Southeast Asian food in detail. It isn’t vegan, at all, so finding recipes were hard. But it is really interesting as they give information about the local produce and customs, so it was interesting to flip through it again.

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So I took most of the recipe’s inspiration from The Asian Vegan Kitchen. Overall, I find the recipes too oily and bland. In fact the Indonesian recipe I reviewed was way too oily from two cans of coconut milk. Yuck. I kind-of took the hint with this recipe, and balanced the recipe out. So you might be thinking what makes an Indonesian curry different from other curries?

Well, it is similar to any of the Thai Red Curry recipes you’ve might of made. But this is super easy and fast to make. For starters the veggies, tempeh, and tofu are chopped in very large pieces. This makes prep time very minimal. Also the curry paste (or lodeh paste) uses candlenuts. I remember seeing them once at an Asian Food Market, but I wasn’t going to make another stop for the recipe. You can use macadamia, brazil, or cashew nuts. I used cashews.

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The recipe also uses salam leaves and galangal. I have never seen any of these ingredients in a store before. I omitted it from the recipe, but if you find powdered galangal, try sprinkling into the recipe. As for salam leaves, I subbed it with some curry leaves. It isn’t authentic, but I am sure many Indonesian immigrants are making similar substitutes.

Nutrition? Yeah, I’ve been really into counting the nutritional information about food lately. Sorry. A quarter of a recipe is roughly 41 grams of carbs (9 grams of fiber), 31 grams of fat (hello coconuts and cashews!), and 28 grams of protein. I have a feeling the fat counts are a little high, and will depend on what type of fried tofu you buy. You can sub it with baked tofu as well.

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As a quick reminder, these percentages are based off of my current pregnant state. You maybe getting a larger amount. If you are actually tracking your nutrition, I suggest looking at the mg units. The obvious thing that will fill more of your nutritional needs is the iron. I am pregnant so I need a minimum of 27 mg while most menstruating women need 18 mg, men more like 8mg.

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I didn’t grow up with the “normal” childhood foods. My mother is very open to new types of foods and loved to cook. I remember when we would make a list of food for the week, and being asked what I wanted. I blurt something out like lasagna, then be shut down “We already have a pasta dish” or “We are already having Italian on Tuesday.” Variety was a huge priority. I guess it still is. When I ask my husband if there is something he wants to eat, his response is usually “We have so many things, I don’t remember all the dishes.”

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I remember couscous, falafels, pancake dinners (which I hated), tuna casseroles, rice and beans, and seafood quiches. Not the normal kid foods like mac and cheese, hotdogs, and hamburger helper. Actually funny story, I tried making the tempeh helper in Appetite for Reduction and wondering what the hell to do with the cheese sauce. I am still not sure what to do with it- I just mix it all in with everything else.

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We did get excited for pizza night. It is possibly the only thing I liked that my father would make. He rolled out huge square thin crust pizzas. The gold mine were the middle pieces since they had no crusts. Then we would get even more excited about calzone night when my older sister was feeling up for it. My perception of calzones is shaped by the ones we made at home. In fact whenever I would go out, I felt so disappointed by the restaurant versions. Too much cheese, not enough ricotta.

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Even today I am still not sure how other people perceive calzones. My husband asked if I was going to put our recently made homemade tomato sauce (he picked 22 pounds of tomatoes last weekend) in the calzone and I flipped out on him. Tomato sauce is strictly for dipping! Sure you could add FRESH tomatoes to the inside, but never the sauce. Pretty much I like my calzones to be big giant white pizzas that are rolled up.

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Pretty much anything can go in a calzone. Sky’s the limit. Leftover tofu, seitan, and facon-bacon are great meat replacement options. I usually keep it simple, red pepper oil, and sautéed veggies. I used sautéed red italia pepper and green bell pepper, then sliced raw shiitake mushrooms and marinated them in soy sauce and a little oil. But sun dried and fresh tomatoes, olives, canned mushrooms, broccoli, roasted garlic, and spinach (or any other green really) all make great fillings

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So if you haven’t herd of red pepper oil yet, you are missing out. It is our secret weapon in the recipe. You can use Giada’s fancy recipe, or do what I do- mix oil and red pepper flakes and let sit for several hours. The longer it sits, the most intense the flavor. So if you are making calzones for dinner on Sunday, the hot pepper oil should be the first thing you make in the morning. There isn’t any official ratio to follow, but tend to do one tablespoon oil to one teaspoon red pepper flakes.

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A lot of my “recreating” with this recipe was mostly just getting ratios right. I’ve made vegan versions in the past, but pretty much just making a tofu-ricotta filling for myself, and the original recipe for everyone else. I think I tried making a vegan version when I was in Philadelphia, but our oven was broken and we were left with raw dough covered in black smoke. I curse and was pissed by the wasted money. I probably would of thrown them out of the window if my husband wasn’t there. We weren’t married yet at the time, so I couldn’t let him see how freakin crazy I am.

So make sure your oven works so you aren’t tempted to throw these delicious calzones out the window.

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The recipe takes awhile… really. Probably 2 hours overall including cleaning up and such. But it is well worth the time since I’ve never eaten a calzone that is similar in restaurants. The recipe makes 4 reasonable sized calzones, or 2 massive calzones. I made the smaller ones, but realistically, when I make them, we eat the massively sized calzones.

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sweetpcass0

I am getting so over my current apartment. I know I’ve mentioned how I’ve bought a rowhouse. It is an exciting adult step for my husband and I, and a little scary. We went to our inspection on Saturday, and turned out really well. We are requesting $1,000 worth or repairs before going in, and there isn’t anything we would care about it they said no to (and I think only two requests they legally need to fund us or fix). Going through the house again makes me want to start designing everything.

There is a WHOLE MONTH before we can move in, and it is killing me. I want my dishwasher, god I would love to take a plate and just put it away and out of sight. I would love to only have to handwash a blender and french press in the morning, then a few pots at night. I would also love to wash my clothes whenever I want and not have to worry that if I leave my laundry in the machine and then be a burden to someone else. I want for Toulouse to have stairs to run up and box windows to stare out of.

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To try and keep my mind occupied I am trying to do the Summer Shape-Up on The Fitnessista. It might be fun to have new recipes to try out, and heck switch up my breakfast plans a little even! This is the first day in years I didn’t have a SMOOTHIE! It was oddly really hard, but I think tomorrow my body will cope with it a little better. Funny since I read so many articles about how smoothies are calorie bombs that don’t keep you full for long. 

This will also help with spicing up my workout routine. I’ve been pretty much just been running and going to an Orangetheory class each week. So it probably will be nice to get more weight training in, especially since I will be lifting many many many boxes in a month. No need to workout on moving day.

 

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This recipe was resurrected from the dead this weekend. I originally made the recipe, wrote down notes, and loved it so much that I took photos for the blog. I edited the photos, but waited to post it since I had a few other recipes I wanted to put on the blog. Fast forward a few weeks and I couldn’t find the recipe. At that point summer was creeping in and the desire to cook a casserole had disappeared. So I figured the recipe would never make it to the blog.

Then my husband decided he would clean the computer area. And what did he find? The recipe! I am pretty excited about it because I would like to make this recipe again this winter. I love Korean sweet potatoes. They have a chestnut-like flavor which I totally recommend using in this recipe. If you can’t find any, the closest substitute is a white sweet potato.

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I also love the touch of sesame flavor on the top crumb. The sesame seeds really add an extra crunch that contrasts the creamy sauce and soft noodles. It adds a nice twist to the normal creamy pasta casserole dish. I really don’t think it emulates any western cream based noodle dishes, like alfredo or macaroni and cheese. This really is something that stands on it’s own.  Continue reading


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Is there some unspoken party rule that dips should be named after other foods? I mean there is buffalo wing dip, hoagie dip, jalapeno popper dip, banana pudding dip, smores dip, it seriously gets out of control. But I have to admit I have a soft spot for pizza dip. It was sort of my family’s staple appetizer for parties. 

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The original version was pretty easy to make, just take cream cheese and sour cream and beat together. Then add tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni chunks. Now, clearly the original isn’t vegan. But I would make the argument that I prefer my newer vegan version, though I miss the pepperoni. So instead I topped it with other items you would find on a pizza, onions and peppers. But you are free to use whatever you want, like olives, faux pepperoni, faux sausage, tomato slices, etc.

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This dip is really tasty. It made my omnivorous friends scratch their heads when they found out there wasn’t any dairy in it. And they ate it so fast I couldn’t take any photos showing the different layers. 

My biggest tip with the dip? Finding the right container. You don’t need the dip to fill up all the way to the top. Keeping nice thin layers is ideal so you can get a little bit of everything in one scoop. I am merely poor and lack a huge collection of dishes to cook in (gotta work with what you got)

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Remember how I mentioned I’ve been a little bummed lately? I am trying to be a little proactive about it. Tonight I am going try out a run in Philadelphia with my friend. Hopefully all goes according to plan, it is suppose to snow on and off all day. I am a little nervous since my running has been pretty null lately. I’ve been much happier sleeping in or lifting weights inside.

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This granola is a great way to add a little bit of a christmas flair to any normal dishes. Add a little granola on yogurt, now you have GINGERBREAD yogurt. Add a little to your chia pudding, BAM Christmas-a-fied. I have big plans for this granola, and if all goes according to plan, I will posting the recipe on here.

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This recipe was a big labor of love. It happened to use a lot of Thanksgiving leftovers, so there were lots of pecans, walnuts, and cashews in there. There is also home dried apples. I figured I would give it a try since my husband picked 16 pounds of apples before our local orchard closed down for the year. I couldn’t even tell you what types of apples are in there. I just kind-of grabbed a bunch from our bags, diced and dehydrated. They are pretty yummy in oatmeal or chia pudding. If you don’t feel like making your own diced apples, you can easily just chop up dried apple rings.

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Say what you will, but I find that there is almost something artistic about a messy work space in the kitchen.

Say what you will, but I find that there is almost something artistic about a messy work space in the kitchen.

I have been so bored with food recently…and that’s saying a lot! I have wanted to try out new recipes but my budget has been tight and I have had so much going on that I haven’t had the time to do anything, or at least it’s felt that way. Yesterday I buckled down and decided that no matter what – I was going to make at least ONE new thing to eat! I have gotten my body in the habit of trying to eat (or at least ingest) something green once a day and when I don’t get to do that it makes me grumpy. While there wasn’t too much green in the foods I ate yesterday I at least know that what I made was vegan/vegetarian recipes AND they were on the healthier side!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (originally from The Simple Veganista) and tweaked it a bit. I had been eyeing the recipe for a while and decided that yesterday was finally the day to try it out! I always tend to think of even the simplest recipes as time consuming, mostly because of all the chopping they would involve (I tend to add more vegetables or more of a vegetable even if it isn’t called for), and let me tell you…this is SO SIMPLE. There are only 3 ingredients that need chopping – if that even, and the curry sauce is really easy to make as well. 

I am so excited because I have even more for the rest of the week! Can you say LUNCH?

I am so excited because I have even more for the rest of the week! Can you say LUNCH?

The only ingredients that were listed in Julie’s recipe were chickpeas, carrots, scallions, raisins and cashews. I obviously included the chickpeas and carrots, but replaced the scallions for the sweet onion that I already had in the kitchen and replaced the raisins with dried cranberries (or “craisins” if you will). I am not a huge fan of raisins and knew that these would give the right sweetness that Julie used the raisins for in her recipe. I also stuck with cashews because they are delicious. I also added some chopped up radish for an extra crunch and added flavor. Radishes are vegetables that I love but I never seem to use them in recipes that I end up making at home. 

When I threw all of the ingredients for the curry sauce (curry powder, garlic powder, a pinch of salt, lemon juice and hummus) together it all seemed a bit too curry-ish, which I find is hard to accomplish most times. It may have been the hummus I used, I usually like Sabra as my go-to hummus, but this time I had just used the leftover Trader Joe’s (surprise surprise) hummus I had in the refrigerator. The texture was a bit off and it seemed quite salty, so I read Julia’s notes and she mentioned adding maple syrup or any liquid sweetener to take that edge off. After I added a smidge of my Trader Joe’s Maple Agave Syrup is was PERFECT. I put the salad on bread, made it into a sandwich and brought it to work. It’s a wee-bit messy because chickpeas are big and round**, but if that’s the only thing I had to complain about then I would say it all worked out pretty well. 

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I will definitely be making this dish again and I am so excited to be keeping up with The Simple Veganista! I always love discovering new blogs and it’s equally as lovely to find out that the recipes they post are delicious. I recommend this for easy lunches, and the recipe makes a decent amount so you’ll have it for a few people or a few days!

** QUICK NOTE FROM JEN: I’ve made some chickpea salads in my day. I recommend mashing them quickly before stirring in all the veggies and such. Just get a few crushes to help them stay together in a sandwich.