Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach "Cream" Sauce

I can't believe how beautiful it is today! It's hard to believe it's the first day of February when it feels more like April. I took Logan to the park so he can run wild while I update my blog. It's hard to focus when he's being this cute though!
My little tree hugger

I've been digging through raw food blogs for some recipe inspiration, and came across something called nut cheese. Basically it's a mixture of nuts and other ingredients to make a food with a cheesy texture. A lot of these recipes contain raw cashews, which I was having trouble finding- until yesterday. I went to the grocery store promising to only buy fresh produce since Andrew and I are still on our 2 week grocery strike of non produce items. The cashews were right there in the produce section. I couldn't help myself.

Last night was my first experience with nut cheese. I made spaghetti squash with a creamy spinach sauce. The cashews gave the sauce it's creamy texture. The original recipe, which I got from The Sunny Raw Kitchen, was a little bland for my taste. This could have been because I used frozen spinach instead of fresh. Next time I'll definitely use fresh, but I wanted to use up what I already had, and that was frozen. To make up for the blandness I added some onion and doubled the amount of spices. It came out pretty good, and tastes great with the spaghetti squash. I'd say my first nut cheese experience was a success!

To make this dish, start by roasting the squash. Cut in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Roast in the oven at 400º for about an hour, or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and flip the squash over. Scrape a fork along the inside to create "spaghetti". This is a very versatile squash. It can be eaten hot or cold, and you can top it with just about anything you would put on top of regular spaghetti, it's even good with brown sugar if you're looking for a sweet fix.

Creamy Spinach Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. of safflower oil (or whatever type of oil you have on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp. of finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. of thyme
    1. Blend the cashews and water until a cream forms. It should look like this:
     2. Add the rest of the ingredients until smooth and creamy.

I also made a whole wheat loaf to go with the meal. To make this, just follow the recipe for whole wheat burger buns through step 5. Once the dough has doubled, punch down and knead for a couple more minutes. Form the dough into a loaf shape. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes. If you're having trouble making the dough rise, place it on the stove towards the back and preheat your oven. Dough needs warm temperatures to rise. Brush the top of the loaf with a mixture of 1/2 Tbsp of water and 1/2 Tbsp of almond milk. Top with sesame seeds if desired. Bake for 20 minutes in a 400º oven.

We ate this bread dipped in a peach balsamic vinegar that I bought from a vendor at the organic Garden of Eve's Garlic Festival. If you're in the Long Island area in September I highly recommend checking out this festival. Last year I bought the most delicious sicilian garlic and made a vegan roasted garlic soup. It's on my to-do list to make again soon, so stay tuned for that post!

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