Sprout New Roots


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The Mac-n-Vegan-Cheesiest!

Everyone loves comfort food. Including us! Who doesn’t appreciate food that’s tastes like home? We grew up in New Orleans and pretty much all of the cuisine here makes people feel happy when they eat it. They may not feel so good afterwards-but it’s worth it to them. Not so much to us. However, we love that warming, comfortable feeling of tasting a slice of home-which brings me to this post! What we consider comfort food. Mac –Cheese! But not just any old mac n cheese- Spaghetti Squash Mac-n-Cashew “Cheese”! There are many recipes that you can find online for different nut and cashew cheese sauces, but I wanted to show you guys exactly what I did with what I had in my pantry because I believe it’s a simpler recipe than a lot that I found online. I chose spaghetti squash for the “noodles” because I have noticed, over time, that I’ve tended to “crowd out” pastas with whole grains and other “whole foods”. The last few times I have eaten pasta (even whole wheat or multi-grain) I feel heavier than I like to afterwards. I think my body is just used to lighter fair these days. And by “lighter” I certainly do not mean only salads-just food that takes less processing by my body. I still love pasta though and of course I still eat it occasionally. It’s just a small change I’ve experienced gradually over this past year and a half. Also, I like to eat a lot-so if I eat pasta-I can’t eat as much and that’s just no fun for me!
So here’s what I did!

cashews

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash, or 2 small spaghetti squashes

You can bake your spaghetti squash whole or in 2 halves (cut lengthwise) in the oven.

If you choose to bake it whole, pierce the skin with a sharp knife several times around the squash. Bake it for an hour if it’s a medium-large size at 375 degrees. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees if it’s a small one. You’ll need to be careful that the skin doesn’t burn.  Check it occasionally and reposition it if you notice it beginning to brown in one spot. Once it is finished (you should be able to pierce the skin with a knife without much resistance) , remove from the oven, cut in half, and carefully scrape out the seeds and pulp in the center, then scrape the inside “meat” of the squash out with a fork and you’ll notice it comes out in “noodles” just like spaghetti!

If you choose to bake it in half, cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center and place it in the oven on a baking pan rind side up for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees. Again, once it is finished, scrape the inside of the squash out with a fork.

Cashew Cheese Sauce

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups of non-dairy milk (I used soy milk, but almond milk would work fine as well. Avoid coconut milk for this)
  • 1 heaping tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Put cashews in your blender or processor. Blend until they’re crumbly but be sure not to blend to a paste. Add the nutritional yeast flakes along with the garlic powder, onion powder, and sea salt. Pulse the blender 3 or 4 more times to mix it up. On the stove, heat the nondairy milk, olive oil, and the cornstarch. Heat and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Turn your blender/processor back on and slowly add the hot milkiness and blend for 2 minutes until smooth. Mix it into your spaghetti squash noodles! Add steamed/sautéed veggies into it or on the side. I have added in fresh spinach (picture below) and also steamed broccoli and carrots! Viola! Guilt-free comfort food!

Little Tip! Use this cashew “cheese” sauce to pour over your veggies or rice! Slather it on a sandwich! Dip chips or veggies into it!

spaghetti-squash-1

What do you consider comfort food ?

Please let us know in the comments below!


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A Very Veggie Thanksgiving!

Hey there! We hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! We sure did! While it makes us sad about the brutal truths of Thanksgiving (excessive turkey/pig slaughter, etc.), we do love everything else about this holiday. Family, friends, and food! What could be better? One question we often get about Thanksgiving is “Well what do YOU eat at Thanksgiving since you don’t eat turkey?” The funny thing about this holiday is the amount of yummy veggies that show up on our tables that usually don’t ever make it to any of our plates on a regular basis! So yes, we indulge! Jenn was able to come in from Memphis so we took advantage and cooked together while we could! We made quite a few dishes but will share 2 with you in this post. First, we chose Happy Herbivore’s Butternut Squash Soup! This soup was very warming and colorful and just nice! It’s more of a curry butternut squash soup-bc it had a very strong curry taste! When we make it again, we will probably knock down a notch the amount of curry we used.  We both loved it – and so did our brother. However, curry isn’t a flavor that everyone takes to immediately, so when making this for a large group of people, take that into consideration. Just a little lesson learned. But still-very yummy soup!

(http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup/)

Also, we made a favorite-mashed potatoes! Kelli found a recipe for garlic mashed potatoes on another vegan blog that looked yummy-so we used that! Here’s the link to her recipe: (http://whattheheckareyoueating.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/vegan-garlic-mashed-potatoes/). Neither of us had never used watercress leaves before and they definitely gave this dish a little something extra special and tasty! We love garlic so we over-indulged in that! We basically used russet potatoes, garlic, soy milk, vegan butter, and chopped up watercress.

We had so much fun cooking for Thanksgiving! We have been experimenting a lot lately so look forward to more holiday cooking and craft posts!

– Kelli & Jenn