Morgan’s maple-roasted almond butter

Morgan Doane shared a quick and easy–and delicious–way to make maple-roasted almond butter at our February supper club. Check out the directions below!

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Maple-roasted Almond Butter
16 oz. raw almonds
2-3 T maple syrup
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix raw almonds together with maple syrup and pour onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, pulling the sheet our every five minutes to stir. Allow to cool slightly—not too cool or they will be hard to handle. Pour almonds into the food processor and begin to process. This can take a long time (10-20 minutes) depending on the size of your processor and your motor. Stop every so often to scrape down the sides with a spatula. The almonds will go through many stages, including coarse sand, sticky dry mass, clumping mass and finally smooth butter. When is begins to move from clumping together to smooth butter, add the cinnamon and salt. Process until fully incorporated.

February 2014 Supper Club 204

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Pepita Pesto Dip

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You asked for it, you got it! This rather unassuming looking dip was a major hit at our supper club and many of you asked for the recipe. The pesto recipe is mine, developed for my class on pumpkin and squash at Meijer Gardens. It becomes swoon-worthy when paired with Miyoko Schinner’s Cashew Cream Cheese, which I found the recipe for here. Miyoko is one of my favorite plant-based cheesemakers. She’s brilliant. Please buy her book “Artisan Vegan Cheese.” If you like, you could also pair this with goat cheese or cream cheese.

Pepita Pesto
Ingredients:
1 cup pepita pumpkin seeds (these are hulled seeds)
10 fresh sage leaves (big ones if you can)
1 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 head roasted garlic
¼ cup almond parmesan (this is a decent recipe, but do yourself a favor and use almond meal and maybe 1/2 the amount of nutritional yeast)
1/4 tsp salt to taste
1 cup cashew cream cheese

Directions:
Roast the pumpkin seeds in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Continue to stir the seeds until they start to pop. You want to smell a nutty aroma and see the seeds begin to brown. Keep shaking and stirring while this is happening. You will get a feel for this. You do not want smoking and burning. Move seeds to a food processor. Add the sage, parsley, roasted garlic, parmesan and salt to taste. Process until it is a coarse puree, and all ingredients are evenly distributed, stopping the processor and scraping the ingredients back toward the blades if you need to.

Mix pesto with 6-8 ounces of your choice of cheese until fully combined. Serve with crackers. Practice humility when people swoon over it.

Katie’s Gluten-free Chocolate Almond Cherry Cookies

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The lovely Katie Williams (pictured above) brought these delicious cookies to our September Supper Club. Below, she demonstrates how she made them more healthy and vegan! It’s a great example of how easy it is to transition recipes. Thank you, Katie!

Katie’s Gluten-free Chocolate Almond Cherry Cookies
Ingredients
• 1 1/4 cups almond meal
• 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used cacao nibs)
• 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
• 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Raw Coconut Sugar)
• 1 egg (I used 1 Flax egg; 1 Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tbsp water)
• 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
• 1/2 tsp vanilla
• Handful of dried cranberries (optional)

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together almond meal, dark chocolate
chips, coconut, baking powder (raw coconut sugar), salt and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg (flax egg) until uniform in color and
doubled in volume.
3. Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla, then add to dry ingredients and
mix until just combined.
4. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or even overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
6. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place on baking sheet with 1-1/2 inch
space in between each. Press down slightly to flatten a bit.
7. Bake until edges begin to brown, 7-10 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

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Another lick-the-bottom-of-the-bowl winner from last month’s supper club was David Landrum’s Coconut Red Lentil Soup, which he got from Bon Appétit Magazine. We couldn’t find a good link, so here are the instructions below. Thank you, David! P.S. This isn’t a photo of the soup, but one like it. Discerning readers will see that David’s recipe has no peas. Add them if you want.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients:
2 cups red split lentils
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped, including seeds
1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup tomato paste
7 cups water
1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving

Directions:
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes adding the lime juice at the end of cooking. Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the soup topped with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.

Red Quinoa Salad with Veggies

There are so many delicious dishes at every supper club, but a few start to get a buzz around them and those are the ones that get recipe requests. Unfortunately, we don’t always get a beautiful photo of each sought-after dish, so you’ll just have to imagine what this one looks like.

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Sue Smith’s Quinoa Salad with Veggies

Ingredients
1/2 cup red quinoa
1 cup water

1 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 cup carrots, small dice
1 cup diced red cabbage
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes (from an oil-packed jar)

2 T red wine vinegar
4 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup almond/cashew feta cheese. Find a video/recipe for that here or use your own. Personally–this is Sue speaking–this one looks pretty good. You might try a little kalamata olive juice in place of the oil or the water.

Directions
Simmer the 1/2 cup quinoa in the water for about 15 minutes until water is fully absorbed.

Set aside to cool while you finish dicing veggies.

Whisk together red wine vinegar and next three ingredients. Combine almond/cashew feta with quinoa. Fold in veggies. Sprinkle with dressing and fold all together. Voila! P.S. In the montage below, you can see Sue’s empty dish!

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My Squeezy Cheesy Sauce

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Well, I hail from Wisconsin on both sides–Green County–mind you. It’s like the epicenter of cheese curds. My Swiss grandparents ate cheese at every meal, so I’m a girl who likes her cheese. When I fell in love with vegetarianism at 19, I just cleared my plate for more cheese! So when I became a devoted plant-based eater several years ago, the cheese thing was a problem. I dedicated a good part of my early study to cheese alternatives and I love teaching other people how they can choose plant-based alternatives to cheese. My next class, in fact, is at Uptown Kitchen on October 3rd. I hope to see you there!

What follows is my go-to cheese sauce. We put this stuff on everything! including brown rice, veggies and, slivered almonds (shown above); on taco salads; in breakfast burritos with sauteed tofu… the possibilities are endless! You can modify it to your own taste by changing the amounts of ume plum vinegar and lemon juice. Or add more or less squash to make it creamier. Also, if you don’t have a high-speed blender, check out my modification below.

Sue’s Favorite Cheesy Sauce

Ingredients:
2 medium yellow squash (12 oz.)
½ cup cashews soaked in filtered water 4-6 hours
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2T mild miso (I use chickpea, but brown rice is fine)
1-2T ume plum vinegar
1-2T lemon juice
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. chili powder

Directions:
Steam the squash for 5-7 minutes, or until firm tender.
Drain the cashews and rinse.
Add cashews and the rest of the ingredients, including the squash, to the blender. Blend until creamy.
Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

If you do not have a high-speed blender, grind the *dry* cashews in a food processor until they are a coarse crumb texture. This can be loud and long, but don’t go too long or you’ll get cashew butter. Then soak for a couple of hours and proceed as directed.