Posts Tagged 'cashew'

Pineapple Quinoa


The other day Mike and I were talking about how much healthier the food we’ve been eating lately is compared a couple months ago. I mean, we have definitely had our fair share of ice cream and cake the past couple weeks, but it is SO much better than my first trimester bagel and ice cream sandwich diet. That coupled with the fact that EVERYTHING good is coming into season now makes me an extremely happy eater.

I am so happy to be back to normal eating, and super happy to still be running, although a couple days ago after a particularly atrocious run I was thinking I might be done. This weekend, though, was perfect, and I ran out to Fort Funston.

It was a beautiful day and even though it took me about 2 miles of warming up to feel normal, I had an awesome 4.5ish mile run. I’ve been trying to do something active every day, usually alternating yoga with running. I feel like I get slower every day, but just getting out there definitely helps me keep my sanity, especially since I spend my days with eighth graders who only have a few weeks of school left and are totally ready to be done!

This awesome meal comes from Veganomicon, and i think it was one of the first recipes I made when I bought the book three years ago. It’s pretty much like pineapple fried rice, but much more filling thanks to o the quinoa. You definitely want to have everything chopped and ready to go, because once you start, it comes together really fast. It’s superb while it’s still warm, and just as good cold for lunch the next day.

Recipe:
(adapted from Veganomicon)

1 cup qinoa
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup cold water
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/3 cup cashew pieces (raw and unsalted)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, sliced very thinly
1″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked edamame
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, cut chiffonade
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 a medium fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
lime wedges for garnish

Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and you can see the little curlicues on the quinoa. Remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

Toast the cashews in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and reserve for later use.

Raise the heat to medium. Heat the vegetable oil for about a minute, then add the garlic and green onions and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chili and ginger and cook another minute or two, then stir in the bell pepper and edamame. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, or until the bell pepper is softened. Add the pineapple, quinoa, basil, and mint and mix well.

Pour the mirin and soy sauce over the quinoa and continue to stir fry for another four to five minutes, making sure everything gets mixed well and heated through. Serve garnished with lime wedges.

Cashew Curry

I am kind of in awe of how my blog’s following has grown over the past few months. For so long it seemed like nobody outside my immediate family and circle of friends read it, and even then it was only because I nagged them. But to all of you out there who come here and read what I have to say, THANK YOU!!! I really appreciate everyone who stops by, whether or not you leave comments (although I do LOVE comments!)

One of the perks of having more than a small handful of readers is that a few offers for free stuff start to trickle in. I generally have no interest in them (meat rubs? Um, I don’t eat meat), but when Oh Nuts offered to send me stuff, I couldn’t turn them down. I use nuts all the time! A few days after I responded to the email, these beauties showed up on my doorstep:

Raw cashews, pecans, macadamias, and almonds! Thank you so much, Oh Nuts! I picked raw nuts so I had the flexibility of using them raw or roasting them myself.

When I decided to use the cashews first, I googled a bit and found this recipe, which I instantly knew would be delicious. I changed a few things about the recipe — adding tomatoes and using light coconut milk rather than full-fat and water — and it was fabulous. I still haven’t gotten around to making my own curry powder, but it’s on my list of things to try!

Recipe:
(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, chopped
8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2″ cubes and stir-fried until golden
2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
2-3 cups cauliflower florets
a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cashews, toasted

Bring half a cup of the coconut milk to a simmer in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Whisk in the curry powder and salt, then stir in the chopped red onion, garlic, and tomato and cook for about a minute.

Stir in the remaining coconut milk. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans,cauliflower and tofu. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cayenne. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, curry powder, or cayenne if necessary

Remove from heat and stir in the cashews.

Eggplant and Cashew Barley

Last night I came to the slightly painful realization that my photos have gotten incredibly boring. Food + white dish + white background over and over. And over. So today I went to the craft store (where I feel completely out of place because I’m not crafty in the slightest) and picked up some paper and fabric so I can spice up my pictures. My wonderful husband also moved the light box from the garage/basement up to a room at the front of the house that gets great light at dinner time, so I’m hoping this will improve my photo quality at least a little. I’m just going to let the picture above be one of the last of my “white phase.”

This dinner is incredibly flavorful, with an unusual combination of ingredients that work together surprisingly well: cardamom, cinnamon, mustard seeds, eggplant, roasted red pepper, cashews, and a little lemon. It sounds like a really weird mix, but trust me, it’s comforting and just exotic enough to get you out of the rut using the same flavors over and over (which you might not do, but I kind of end up relying on garlic, soy sauce and little else a lot of the time). Although the recipe calls for rice (and I have no doubt rice is great in it), I’m keeping my pearl barley kick going.

Recipe:
(adapted from Fresh Indian by Sunil Vijayakar)

1 1/3 cups pearl barley, soaked in warm water for 30-40 minutes, then drained
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 whole dried red chiles (like Chiles de Arbol)
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp turmeric
2 1/2 cups water
salt
1/2 lemon
1 red bell pepper, roasted and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cashew pieces
chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the shallots, mustard seeds, chiles, cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the eggplant and turmeric, mix to combine, then add the water. Stir in a few pinches of salt, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water has absorbed and the barley is tender (if it’s not soft, add a little water and continue cooking).

Turn off the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle with lemon juice, pepper, cashews, and cilantro.

Espresso Toffee with Chocolate and Cashews

I was planning to make some pistachio macaroons this morning, but ended up with cashews instead of pistachios (long story).  I remembered some espresso toffee bars that my grandfather made a few Christmases ago and decided I needed to try and re-create them.  I found a basic toffee recipe on epicurious.com and tweaked it a little bit to make these beauties. 

I like the slight bitterness that the espresso contributes, but if you are more of a toffee traditionalist, you can definitely omit it.  I added some cream in with the chocolate to soften up the texture a little bit (a nice contrast with the crunchy toffee) but it’s fine to omit that too.  I think almonds would also be delicious here.
Candy is a wonderful thing to make because it just boils away on the stove, making the kitchen smell fantastic, and you don’t need to do much more than keep your eye on the thermometer.  
(adapted from epicurious.com)
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup (or corn syrup)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp instant espresso
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted cashews

Combine sugar, syrup, butter, vinegar, water, espresso, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and let boil until a candy thermometer reads 290F.
This may take a little while
Alright, we’re boiling.
Getting closer!
Just about there!
After it reaches 290F, your kitchen may be smelling a little like burnt sugar but don’t worry, you haven’t ruined your toffee.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. This will cause some serious bubbling so stand back!
Pour into a greased 13 x 9″ metal pan and tilt it to distribute evenly.
Once it has set (20-ish minutes), melt the cream and chocolate together in the top of a double boiler and stir until smooth.
Spread evenly over the toffee, then sprinkle the cashews over the chocolate.  Chill about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has firmed up, then break into pieces to serve.


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