Pesto, Quickles, and Cashew Cheese

There are a few things over the years that I have yearned to make at home rather than buy at the store because they are so simple to make and often healthier. The first recipe, what I like to refer to as Quickles, came out of convenience when I was making tacos and realized that I had everything to make this garnish at home and they'd be ready in 30 minutes. The second, Cashew Sauce, came from pure curiosity, a lot of recipe researching, and tweaking it to my own liking. The last is a staple that's hard to mess up: pesto. 

Quick Pickled Cabbage & Onions, AKA, Quickles
Fills 1x regular mason jar

I can't deny that the bright fuchsia color of these really adds to my enjoyment of eating them. I always whip up a batch or two of these whenever I am making tacos, glory bowls, Indian curry chicken...you name it. They're also a great little punch of color and flavor on burgers or on a charcuterie board. 

Ingredients

1 small red onion
1/4 purple cabbage
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/2 cup hot water
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup white vinegar

Optional:
sliced jalapeno
coriander seeds
lemon slices

Directions

Add water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a pot and bring it to almost boil. Remove from heat. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the red onions. Chop your cabbage and add everything to a mason jar, packing it tight. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over top, covering the cabbage. Seal with a tight lid and place in the fridge at least 30 minutes or overnight. These will last in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. 

 

Cashew Cheese Sauce 
Makes 16oz

This is one of my favorite things to have in the fridge. I love to have it with crackers, dip fresh veggie sticks, yam fries, or honest to god I've eaten it with a spoon. I haven't done this myself, but I bet it would make a great pasta sauce too. 

If you can get it thick and creamy, this sauce also doubles as an incredible substitute for traditional hollandaise sauce. You can just slightly warm it over low in a pot before serving, be sure to add a little extra water to the pot as it could burn or get chunky if it over-heats.

Ingredients

2 cups of raw cashews
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3/4 cup water, to start
1/4 cup grapeseed oil, to start

Directions

Soak your cashews in water overnight in the fridge. Make sure they are fully covered with water.

The next day, strain the cashews, rinse, and add to a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix). Add 3/4 cup water and all of your other ingredients, except the oil, to the blender and start blending on low. You'll have to harness your patience here, as you may have to stop the blender a few times to stir with a spoon, adding a few more teaspoons of water at a time. Once it's blending with some ease on medium/low, slowly pour in the oil. You don't want chunky cheese, and you don't want runny cheese, so be patient and wait until it's thick and creamy, blending easily as you bring up the speed. You can't over blend this so take your time to get the right consistency. I've attached a photo of what it should look like in your blender just before you get a spatula to pour it into a jar. Sprinkle the top of the jar with a little extra turmeric if you'd like and grab your favorite cracker!  

cashew cheese sauce

Basil Pesto

You may never buy pesto again! Throw all of this into a food processor instead. Those are the only directions.

Ingredients

1-2 handfuls of large basil leaves. (Root Cellar has them by the bagful)
1/2 cup grapeseed or olive oil
12 raw cashews
1-2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt, add more to taste at the end if you'd like

Use this as a marinade for chicken, a pasta (or zoodle) sauce, or as an option on the tapas platter.