As of this week, I started reading Alicia Silverstone's book the kind diet. I am loving it! Half of the book is the philosophy and background of living out a kind diet and the other half is full of delicious-looking recipes. I hope to experiment with a few in the coming weeks. If you haven't taken a look at this book, I encourage you to do so! It may shed some light on possible thoughts or questions that many of you may be having regarding plant-based living.
In a way, when I come home from school, I don't have a yearning desire to cook more food since that's what I essentially do all day...this is a discouraging feeling since I should be gravitating & skipping toward the kitchen. So...I received some positive encouragement yesterday to "pamper" myself and have fun in the kitchen even when it's just me I'm cooking for (especially while I am still looking for part-time work). Well, I did. I turned on some tunes and practiced a few methods I learned in class and just did a little bit of my own experiments & had fun!
Homemade Cashew "Milk"
I typically get the store bought non-dairy beverages, but making your own is SO simple and less processed. Give it a try - you'll most likely make it a point to make your own from now on! This method works with almonds as well.
1 cup cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours until soft
1-2 cups soaking water
Blend cashews in blender or food processor and slowly add the soaking water until you've reached the desired consistency. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the liquid into a bowl or container. You will be left with a thick cashew cream in the strainer. You can either blend this cream up again with a little bit more water to create more "milk" or you can put it on some granola or fruit for added creaminess and flavor! Store in airtight container for 5-7 days. Makes about 2.5 cups.
Butternut Squash Soup
My simple and quick version of this soup includes only 5 ingredients, and of course, no preservatives like most store-bought soups. Again - easy peasy, yet delighful & healthful! :-)
1 large organic butternut squash - cut in 4 pieces.
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cups water
1 cup cashew milk
Salt to taste
If your squash is organic, you may leave the peel on, however, it does give your soup a bit of texture. If your squash is not organic or you want your soup to be extra silky, peel the squash before cutting. Place your squash, cut-side up, in a baking dish with a small amount of water and olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes until soft.
Blend baked squash, water, & cashew milk in a food processor/blender until smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste. Heat the soup over the stove-top until it reaches desired temperature. For variation, substitute cinnamon, nutmeg, & cloves for the salt.
Granola for Granola Lovers!
This recipe was inspired by my friend Sarah at Reinventing Wellness! She is amazing! :-)
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsalted mixed nuts - cashews, walnuts, & almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds or ground flax seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinches of salt, nutmeg, & cloves
4 Tbsp Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
4-6 chopped medjool dates
Mix oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, & cloves in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Add vanilla. Mix butter/honey mixture into the dry ingredients. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes (stir every 10 minutes or so). Add dried fruit after baking. Store in an airtight container. Can be refrigerated or frozen (just makes it chilled - not really frozen).
**Serve with cashew or almond milk in 1/2 honeydew melon bowl. :-) Yum! Top with cashew cream for an extra treat! Or just eat as a snack on the go!
These are just a few of the goodies I've whipped up since yesterday. Please enjoy! And if you make any of these recipes - let me know! :-)
It's almost the weekend...bike rides and more delicious recipes to be experienced! With happiness...