Monday, April 25, 2011

Day One- Much easier than I thought it was going to be...

So today I didn't struggle at all!! I left for work this morning on an empty stomach because I didn't go grocery shopping yesterday for all my new vegan fare. However, I was able to find a satisfying breakfast at the corner gas station rather easily. After quickly scanning the ingredient lists on the different breakfast bars they had in stock I was pleased to find that Nature's Valley granola bars are vegan, so I got one of those and a banana from a basket of fresh fruit they had on their counter. Score! I thought lunch was going to be a struggle as well, but fortunately at school we had a salsa/nacho bar set up for the kids so I made nachos with fat-free refried beans, homemade corn and black bean salsa, black olives, and diced onion. I didn't miss the sour cream or cheese at all. For dinner I had leftover linguine pasta that my Mom made for Easter yesterday. Her original recipe called for heavy whipping cream so she substituted cashew cream instead, and it was delicious yesterday and the second time around tonight. My Mom has been a long-time vegetarian but also decided to become a full-fledged vegan recently, so we are on this journey together. It's comforting to know I have a friend to share my new lifestyle with- I have a feeling I'll need lots of support, and she has lots of great tips and a good eye for tasty vegan recipes.

The recipe for the cashew cream she made is below, and it was yummy tossed with whole grain linguine, carrots, and broccoli. Bon appetit!

Cashew Cream

* 2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If you’re not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)
3. To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water when they are placed in the blender, so that the water just slightly covers the cashews.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups thick cream or 3 1/2 cups regular cream
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight.

The recipe was taken from the book "The Conscious Cook" by Tal Ronnen. His website is

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