Spicy Cashew Cheese (Queso de anacardo picante)

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Cupping at San Miguel Coffees in Guatemala (Photo: Stone Creek Coffee)

Well, I have failed miserably at my goal of posting one blog post per week, but I’m back nonetheless. After spending the past two months traveling for work to places like Knoxville, TN, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, I’m full of inspiration and ready to get back into the kitchen.

As I have met new people and seen new places, these past few months have been a time of immense reflection for me.  The very least I can say of this reflection is that I am eternally grateful for all of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve been able to have in such a short amount of time.

After all, there is nothing quite like traveling out of the country for your first time, or traveling with your partner for their first time out of the country either.  There is nothing quite like tasting a fruit that you never had before.  And, similarly, yet appearing vastly different, there is nothing quite like going to your first coffee farm, or even like having a farmer show you around their land.

Although incredibly different, these experiences all share one thing in common which unites them–they only happen once.  These once-in-a-lifetime moments are momentary, but what we can learn from them is lasting.

However, learning only endures if we share it.

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A view from my friend Chepe’s farm in Chirripo, Brunca, Costa Rica.

 

I don’t feel that what I have learned means very much–at least for me–if I don’t share it with others.  Therefore, in order to grow from what I’ve learned, I’m going to make an effort to share and utilize the things that I have learned, and this blog is one of the many ways that I am going to do that.

 

One of the ways in which I am going to do this is with language.  My recent travels have inspired me to improve my Spanish.  So, at least for now, I’ve officially decided to begin writing my recipes in English and Spanish!

I hope to reach more people and make new friends along the way, as well as open new horizons in food for myself and others. As I work on this, please feel free to share any corrections or helpful suggestions.

That being said,  I’ve got a killer recipe to share with ya’ll to come back with a bang! After months of pushing off trying to make it (partly because I felt bad about cheating on dairy cheese, partly because of the price), I finally decided to try making homemade cashew cheese.

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Spicy cashew cheese on top of a bed of spaghetti squash.

Man, was I missing out! Now that I see how easy it is to make and how simple it is to alter, I’ll definitely be making this healthy, dairy-free alternative to cheese more often!

Ingredients · Ingredientes

  • 1/4 Cup Filtered water / Agua filtrada
  • 1 Cup Raw cashews / Anacardos crudos
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh parsley / Perejil fresco
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional yeast / Levadura nutricional
  • 1-2 tsp Red pepper flakes / Hojuelas de pimienta roja
  • 1-2 tsp Himalayan pink salt / Sal himalaya
  • 1 Tbsp White wine vinegar / Vinagre de vino blanco
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice / Jugo de limón

Instructions · Instrucciones

  1. Soak cashews in water for at least two hours. / Empapar los anacardos en agua por lo menos 2 horas.
  2. Dry off cashews. / Seque los anacardos.
  3. Place cashews and all other ingredients in blender or food processor. / Coloque los anacardos y todos los demás ingredientes en la licuadora.
  4. Blend for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape off sides at least once. / Mezcla durante 2 minutos. Raspar los lados de la licuadora después de 1 minuto.
  5. Remove from food processor and enjoy for up 7 days. Store in refridgerator. Enjoy! / Retirar de la licuadora. Guardar en el refrigerador por hasta 7 días. ¡Disfrutar!

Daylily Smoothie

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved daylilies. Growing up, my Mom grew them on the side of our house (and still does), and their blossoming became emblematic for the arrival of summer. As an adult, I am lucky enough to have them grow in abundance next to my own garage. Their vibrant, enticing color is hard to ignore and always brightens a room or garden. However, until last week, I had never been aware that they were edible!

I’ve been bringing them into the café that I work at and one of our regular customers recently told me that her friend makes salads and uses them as edible cups. With my curiosity piqued, I did some research, and, sure enough, they are! Not only are daylilies edible, they are also nutritious! The flowers, which which are used in this recipe, contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A, among other key nutrients.

The flavor and aroma of the flowers is complex, yet delicate and is akin to floral baby greens with a very mellow herbal retronasal that comes through on the finish (it’s no wonder that some Asian cultures classify it as an herbal ingredient!). You can also consume the buds and tubers. In order to consume the flowers, first remove and discard the stamens and stem before washing thoroughly. You can eat them with salads or smoothies when they are freshly opened, or in soups once they are wilted. I put them into this delicious smoothie after trying them plain, and will definitely be having it again before my daylilies are out of season!

This recipe serves 1-2.

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Ingredients:

6 daylily flowers, stamens and stems removed, thoroughly washed

Juice from 1/2 of a lime

3-5 large leafs of kale, center removed (any variety will do)

1/2 C frozen cherries

1/2 C frozen mango

1/2 C raspberry or plain kefir

3/4-1 C water

Directions :

Once you have thoroughly prepared and washed the daylilies and kale, place everything into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy fresh for best results.

If you try my recipe or any variation of it, let me know what you think!  Find me and share pictures on Instagram @thewisconsinskinny or Twitter @radiantlyjess

#eatgoodfeelgood #thewisconskinny

 

 

 

 

All-Natural Pumpkin Puree

Pie pumpkins are on sale at a local store (Woodmans) for only $0.99, so I figured why not try to make some homemade pumpkin puree?

(My recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Pumpkin Puree Recipe, which is made with only pumpkin and salt)

Ingredients:

1 small pie pumpkin (3-5 lbs.)

pinch of salt

1/4 C water

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

about 1 in. finger fresh ginger

Roasting Pie Pumpkin

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash pumpkin thoroughly after removing stem.  Carefully cut pumpkin in half from top to bottom.  Remove seeds and gooey fiber with a large metal spoon.  Set seeds aside for other use (you can roast washed, partially dried seeds sprinkled with salt at 325F on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with cooking oil for about 15 minutes for a crunchy snack or topping). Sprinkle pumpkin halves with salt.  Place the halves flesh side down on a pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes, or until a knife can easily be placed in and removed from the pumpkin without the flesh sticking to it. Remove from oven. After the pumpkin has cooled down enough to handle (30mins-1hr), remove the flesh from the skin with a spoon. Put cooked pumpkin flesh in a blender (or food processor, if you have one) with water, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ginger. Blend until smooth. Yields about 3-4 cups. Refrigerate up to 1 week. Enjoy in smoothies, with yogurt, or in recipes as a substitute for canned pumpkin puree!