Wednesday, 11 January 2017

What We Ate Wednesday--smoky cashew cream sauce

Hello lovelies! We have been eating some delicious food in the Spider household this week. I made a smoky cashew cream sauce that went for 2 pizzas and a pasta.

Pizza dough is ridiculously easy to make yourself and it freezes well, so I always have dough in my freezer ready for a meal. Having made the crust ahead of time, the pizza comes together in a snap and is hella cheaper than a takeaway pizza. Plus you can make it however you like it. White flour. Wholemeal flour. Spelt flour. Gluten free flour. Do what you need, just remember to take the crust out to defrost in the fridge the night before you want it.

This smoky cashew cream sauce is adapted from the book Vegan Pizza by Julie Hasson. It has an amazing taste and is very rich and creamy. Plus it is budget friendly as it only uses a half a cup of cashew nuts. The cashews add the creamy as well as tahini paste (made from sesame seeds) which is a great source of calcium. In fact, 2 Tablespoons of tahini have 128mg of calcium.

I make the sauce and then divide it three ways like this:

Half a cup for a pizza, half a cup for another pizza and then the rest for a pasta. I make the first pizza the day I make the sauce and then freeze the other pizza sauce (just defrost when you defrost your crust) and then refrigerate the big sauce and have it the next day over pasta with roasted vegetables.  

I make it go for three meals because I am cheap that way, but you can use it all in one go if you have more people to feed. It is great over pasta, over vegetables, over anything really. 

Here's how you make it. Now, if you don't have a high powered blender you will need to soak your cashew nuts overnight. The next day just drain and proceed with recipe. Since cashew nuts swell when soaked you can either use what has soaked knowing it is a bit more that a half cup (it will just make it creamier) or if you are on a budget and every cashew counts then measure half a cup and pull out 15 cashews then soak and it should soak to be about a half cup. 

This recipe uses nutritional yeast which is an inactive yeast grown on molasses and is high in B vitamins and gives it a nutty cheesy taste. Find it in a Health Food Shop. 

Smoky Cashew Cream Sauce
In a blender combine:
1/2 cup soaked raw unsalted cashews
1/4 or 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (we do the full half cup)
2 cloves garlic
2 TB tahini
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 cups water (add an extra 1/4 cup water if using for two pizzas and a pasta so the pasta will have a wee bit more sauce)

Blend like heck until completely smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan and cook on med/high heat whisking constantly until thickened. Use immediately or let cool and divide into jars.

Here is our pizza served with kale with mushrooms and red onion. Basically I just throw in to the kale whatever didn't go on the pizza. the pizza had smoky cream sauce, caramelised red onion, mushrooms and thinly sliced potato sprinkled with rosemary. For the kale I just use a splash of tamari, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a squeeze of agave syrup. 

Here is it the next day with the pasta. I think the next day it benefits from a sprinkle of flaked sea salt and a smidge more liquid smoke. Basically I just cleaned out the fridge. I roasted up 2 sweet potatoes, 1 onion, 1 pepper, 1 parsnip and 1 carrot and then tossed it with pasta and a few chopped mushrooms that needed to be used up. 

This is easy and delicious and has no cholesterol. Go and make it tonight!

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