1. Butternut Lasagna with Cashew Nut Cheese
Vegan or Paleo friendly
1 large butternut squash, preferably with a long neck (can also use other long necked firm winter squash)
Large can diced or crushed fire roasted toms
1 med zucchini
Ground meat of choice for Paleo
1.5 c raw cashews (can also sub walnuts or sunflower seeds)
2 cloves garlic
1. First, soak cashews in boiling water for 30 min-1 hour (or as long as it takes to prep the other layers), alternatively soak cashews in room temp water overnight
2. Prep sauce: chop or dice (your preference) veggies and sautee in olive oil til soft. If paleo, add meat to veggies and stirring occasionally cook until browned and fully done… add can of tomatoes and let simmer until you assemble ‘za.
3. Prep butternut: peel, chop off the round end of the butternut so you have the neck of the squash to slice as thinly as possibly into wide noodle-like slices. Scoop seeds out of the round bottom (save to toast!) and slice circles with the same thickness as other “noodles.”
4. Prep cashew cheese: drain cashews, place in food processor with garlic cloves, pulse until evenly chopped, then process continually while adding 1/4c(ish) water—stopping when you have a ricotta-like consistency.
5. Turn sauce off heat, ladle a small amount of sauce on bottom of 9x13 pyrex, add first layer of butternuts (four slices), spread 1/3 of cashew cheese on butternut, ladle 1/3 sauce on top of that, continue pattern until everything is used up—I like to use the round butternut slices on top, real pretty like.
6. Cover tightly with foil, bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes (until knife goes easily into butternut), remove foil and let bake another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid is reduced. Let set up another 5 minutes outside of oven and serve.
3. Tofu bacon
~In a shallow pyrex or Tupperware with a tight fitting lid, pour Braggs Liquid Aminos to about a ¼ in, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, two or three shakes of garlic powder and smoked paprika, a tablespoon or so apple cider vinegar, and then liquid smoke! A generous 5-8 shakes is good. Add a touch of maple syrup and maybe a hint of cayenne… stir container a bit.
~To get nice thin slices of tofu, use an extra firm block, set it on its thinnest side, slice through the center so that knife is parallel with longest side. Turn tofu so it is now laying on the fattest side, and cut super thin slices perpendicular to original cut.
As you cut the slices add to marinade in Tupperware. You can also cut slightly thicker pieces, to yield a softer, chewier bacon.
~Once all the slices are in Tupperware, put on lid and shake- be sure to turn over and let it set upside down too. The longer it is in marinade the better.
~Bake at 375 for 40ish minutes or to desired crispy.
5. Yellow beet, lemon & cilantro slaw
So simple!! Shred 4-5 yellow beets, juice 1-2 lemons over it, chop an entire bunch of cilantro and add it to beets with a generous pinch of chili flakes and salt... stir and refrigerate overnight. Brilliant, beautiful, SO DELISH.
12. Slow cooker pork carnitas with red cabbage slaw
Kate's notes: I rarely follow a recipe for this, but the kitchn has a good basic one here: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-slow-cooker-pork-carnitas-121376. Can easily be halved to use with a smaller roast. I like to make a red cabbage slaw to go with it. While I don't usually follow a recipe for this either, you can't go wrong with: shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, cumin, lime juice, a little oil, some salt, and perhaps mango or honey for a little sweetness. This tastes best after being lovingly tossed by hand and then let to sit for a while.
14. Wild rice, balsamic kale, and cashew cream au gratin
1.5 c wild rice
1 bunch kale
1 large onion
1 cup raw cashews
4-5 garlic cloves
~ Cover raw cashews with boiling water and let sit while you prepare the rest
~ Cook rice with 3-4 cups of water (3 to start, adding more as it cooks- wild rice takes just a bit longer than most rice)
~ While rice is cooking, slice onions into rounds, sautee in a bit of olive oil, separate the kale leaves from the stems, chop stems and add to the onions. When onions are soft and beginning to brown a bit add the chopped kale leaves and a generous sprinkling of balsamic vinegar- cover and let steam until the kale is bright green. Stir well and turn off the heat.
~ Prep cashew cream by rinsing soaked cashews and place in blender or food processor. Add 2-4 cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt. Pulse until evenly chopped- add 1 cup of water and blend until creamy (add more water if necessary).
~ Once rice is cooked, put it in large mixing bowl, add the steamed kale and half the cashew cream. Stir well. Pour into greased casserole or 9x13. Pour remaining cream on top... bake in 350 degree oven for 40ish minutes or until cashew cream is crusty and golden.