Tag Archives: cashews

Back Pocket Chicken + Kale Cashew Caesar ~*Recipe ReDux*~

23 Aug

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This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “Back to the Dinner Table.” After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’ 

When I was growing up, my family would frequently eat rotisserie chicken from the grocery store with a salad mainly composed of romaine lettuce and chopped vegetables. It was something easy and healthy that my mom could pick up and prepare for dinner on a busy weekday.

Over the years I learned that roasting a whole chicken at home is actually quite simple and I now have a back pocket roast chicken recipe for whenever I have guests over at my own “family table.” Continue reading

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Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

24 Jul

Fettuccine Alfredo. A classic childhood favorite.

Here’s a recipe that can satisfy your craving without weighing you down. Yep, this recipe is vegan, dairy-free, cholesterol-free, saturated fat-free. Now don’t you worry, there is still a heck of a lot of creaminess going on. Cashews=creamy, buttery, rich. Cashews get soaked in water, drained, and blended with aromatic onions and garlic. Unctuous, silky sauce.

The Alfredo sauce really comes together with a few dashes of lemon juice and white miso paste (Chloe says this is optional, but I love white miso and I would not skip it; you can purchase white miso at Whole Foods).

I added some peas and a few halved grape tomatoes to my noodles, and slurped it all up alongside roasted asparagus spears.

I kid you not, this tastes like traditional fettuccine alfredo. Maybe even better since I know how much healthier this version is…

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo

From Chloe’s Kitchen

serves 4-6

1 pound fettuccine

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup raw cashews or blanched almonds*

2 cups water

2 teaspoons white miso paste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

optional: chopped Italian parsley, frozen or fresh peas, halved grape tomatoes…

*Soak your cashews or almonds in water overnight to soften. This ensures that the sauce will blend up nice and smooth. Alternatively, you could boil the nuts for 10 minutes and then drain.

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook according to the package directions. If you are using frozen peas, drop them (I used about 1/2 cup?) into the water about 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

In a blender, combine the onions and garlic, cashews, water, miso paste, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

Toss the hot pasta with the sauce until the noodles are evenly coated. Adjust seasoning to taste. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Garnish with fresh tomato slices and parsley, if using.

Pineapple Not-So-Fried-Rice

15 Jun

I’m at a weird transition point in my life.

Just a few weeks ago, I was working full time, volunteering once a week, and taking an online medical biochemistry class to fulfill a prerequisite for graduate school.

I felt busy and stressed, but I was in the groove. There came a point when I had to let something go. I stopped volunteering and I quit my job. I went back home to California for a week and was able to completely relax and gather myself. Now that I am back in New York, my main responsibility is to do well in this biochemistry class. Sure, I study throughout the day, but boy do I have gobs of free time.

Gobs. Of. Free. Time.

What a blessing, right? I’m trying to seize the day and take advantage of my new-found ‘freedom,’ but it is hard to get out there and explore when I feel obligated to catch up on Parks and Recreation and devour the tin of chocolate covered almonds in my pantry. Life is so hard sometimes.

At least now I have the time to experiment in the kitchen and cook healthy meals for myself.

The tofu gods were calling on me this week, I’ve been craving tofu like a maniac (see my previous post on Tofu Bento Bowls). And now that I finally realize how important it is to drain and press the tofu (see recipe below), all of my tofu dishes have been turning out better than ever.

This recipe is from Chloe Coscarelli’s book. This is her Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice. In her picture, she plates the dish in a pineapple boat. I tried to do the boat, I even looked up how to do it online and watched a video. When push came to shove, things just got messy and I found that I was wasting to much of the sweet flesh. I broke down and cut the pineapple up and ate my meal out of a bowl. Oh the perils of being uncreative/lazy.

Despite the pineapple boat failure, the meal tasted superb. There’s sweet yellow pineapple and crunchy raw cashews. Baked tofu and bright green peas. Shredded carrots and studs of raisins. With all sorts of onion and garlic and spice to flavor the rice.


Tofu cubes fresh out of the oven. Ain’t nothin’ better. All it took was a good pat-dry and a press, a little soy sauce, and an oven.

Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice

Serves 4-6

From Chloe’s Kitchen

1 14-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 pineapple, or 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 scallions, chopped (optional)

sea salt or Kosher salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

3/4 cup cashews

1 carrot, peeled and shredded (I simple sliced the carrot thinly with my knife, but you could use a box grater if you want)

1/2 cup peas (you can use fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup raisins

3 cups cooked rice

1/4 cup water or vegetable broth

Note: The first thing I did was get my rice cooking so that it would be fully cooked for when I needed it later.

To prepare the tofu: Wrap the tofu tightly in dry paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Set the tofu on a flat surface and place a small baking pan on top. Then stack something heavy, like canned food or books, on top. Let the tofu sit for 20 minutes while it releases its water. When ready, discard the towels and cube the tofu.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the tofu with the soy sauce, making sure each cube is coated. Place in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, turning the tofu a few times with a spatula. Remove from the oven and set aside.

If you are using a whole pineapple, peel it and remove the core. Slice the pineapple into cubes. If you want to make a pineapple boat for serving, cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, remove the inner flesh with a paring knife, then cut into bite-sized pieces (I tried to do the boat, but found that I was losing too much of the good flesh, so I nixed the idea).

In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onions until soft and lightly browned. Season with salt. Add the garlic, scallions (if using), curry, coriander, and chili-garlic sauce. Let this cook a few more minutes. Add the cashews, carrots, peas, raisins, cooked rice, water (or broth), pineapple, and tofu. Cook until heated through and adjust salt to taste. Serve the rice in the pineapple shell (if you are brave enough to try the boat method) or simply in a bowl. Enjoy!