cashews

cashew and cardamom fudge

by Stevie on August 31, 2012

This tofu dessert… yes, you read correctly, tofu dessert, is another super recipe from Nguyen’s Asian Tofu. She touts it as a higher protein version of the Indian kaju barfi, typically made with milk, sugar and cashew nuts.

cashew and cardamom fudge

cashew and cardamom fudge

Mine was delicious but didn’t quite have the consistency of what I consider to be fudge. This was soft. Perhaps I should have simmered the sweetened condensed milk longer to have less liquid? In any event, the flavor was wonderful and unlike most tofu-bearing recipes, you’ll never even know it is there.

cashew and cardamom fudge

8 oz super-firm tofu, grated with your finest grater
3½ oz raw cashews
1 can sweetened condensed milk
¾ tsp cardamom—I used whole pods which I ground and removed some of the fibrous shells
2 tbsp chopped pistachios

Line a small pan (she recommends 8”x8” but I didn’t have one so improvised) with parchment paper.

Grind cashews in food processor to a coarse texture. Add to shredded tofu (shredding the tofu was the hardest part of this recipe.) Toss to combine.

In a medium pan on medium heat, add the sweetened condensed milk and the tofu cashew mixture. Cook, stirring periodically, about 15 minutes. Don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and add ground cardamom.

Press into prepared pan. Press chopped pistachios on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready, cut into squares, bars or diamonds. Enjoy.

{ 1 comment }

sweet and sour tofu

by Stevie on February 17, 2012

This recipe comes from an enjoyable blog that we’ve recently begun following, almost veg. Sweet and sour sauce is a classic that’s often popular with kids, as it is so yummy and not particularly spicy. I found it especially appealing because there’s no pineapple. Almost-veg writes “I like pineapples but not in savory foods.” Well, I like them too, but they don’t care for me. I’ve a terrible allergy and get hives all over my body in a matter of hours after eating even a tiny mouth-watering morsel of this glorious tropical fruit. Not a pretty picture. Or appetizing, so to move on…

sweet and sour tofu

sweet and sour tofu

I changed around the recipe a little by adding more veggies and using hoisin sauce instead of plum. I had the first and not the second, but no time to shop. I used poblano with the sweet bell peppers since we really enjoy its smoky flavor.

One final note before I give the instructions: I was amazed by the tofu! I had always wondered how Chinese restaurants get that thin crispy coating over soft tofu. And now I know. I will definitely make that again.

sweet and sour tofu

1 package tofu (I used regular)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 poblano pepper; stem, seeds and ribs removed; cut into bite-sized chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt to taste
6 tbsp canola oil
¼ cup cashews (optional)

for the sauce:

2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tsp rice vinegar
½ tbsp oyster sauce (veggie)
½ tsp sugar
4 tbsp water
½ tsp toasted sesame oil

Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Toss with cornstarch then mix with rice wine. Add 4 tbsp canola oil to a large non-stick skillet and fry tofu for a few minutes on each side to brown. Set aside.

Mix sweet and sour sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.

Add remaining canola oil to skillet with onion and garlic. Add a bit of salt. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions become translucent. Add remaining veggies and continue to sauté. After they’ve softened a bit, add tofu, cashews if using, and sauce. Fold together gently and allow to warm through for a few minutes. Adjust salt if needed.

Serve with rice.

{ 3 comments }

kale with black olives, raw cashews and anchovy

kale with black olives, raw cashews and anchovy

Steven and I have been enjoying recipes from David Rocco’s new cookbook, Made in Italy. Many of them seem very simple to make and look tasty from pics in the book. The chickpea soup infused with rosemary Steven made the other day was yummy!

This recipe is supposed to be made with escarole, one of my favorite green leafy vegetables. Sadly I couldn’t find it at our Whole Foods the day I made this dish, so instead I ran to our community garden plot and harvested some organic Russian Kale as a replacement. This straightforward sauté is really flavorful and almost rich. This could be a very elegant upgrade to the traditional Thanksgiving feast green veggie side.

kale with black olives, raw cashews and anchovy

1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 Kalamata olives, halved
4 anchovy filets packed in oil, drained
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small handful raw cashews

Steam kale leaves for about 5 to 8 minutes or until leaves become soft. Transfer to a colander and let fully drain.

Add half of the olive oil to a skillet, place it over burner, add anchovies and cook on low temperature until the fish dissolves. Anchovies have a pungent smell that shouldn’t put you off. That’s the whole point. Raise the temperature a bit, add garlic and sauté until aromatic. Fold in kale then add olives and cashews, cover and cook it for another minute or so, until warmed through. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Serve as a side dish.

This is so good that I want to make it again soon, once I can find escarole in the market.

{ 4 comments }

marzipan cashew nut cookies

marzipan cashew butter almond cookies

This cookie is inspired by a recipe we made back in May for our Roman holiday party. Originally it’s from Martha Stewart’s site and calls for almond paste and pine nuts. I didn’t have enough of the former and none of the latter so I improvised using cashew nut butter and slivered almonds instead.

I decided to make these on a whim for the fabo T-day potluck that John P threw last week. The thing was, there was so much delicious food to eat that when it was time for dessert and enjoying the cookies, everyone was already full. You know how Thanksgiving parties are. As a result people ended up bringing the cookies home in doggie bags. It gave me an anxiety attack. Could it be that they didn’t like these cookies that I thought were so spectacular!?! I was relieved and very pleased with myself the following day when the phone started ringing all morning about how wonderful these cookies are and they all were demanding the recipe. Turns out everyone at that party had the same breakfast! This is now my “official” holiday cookie recipe!

Marzipan Cashew Butter Almond Cookies

key ingredients for marzipan cashew butter cookies

key ingredients for marzipan cashew butter cookies

Ingredients:
4 cups slivered almonds
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup marzipan (almond paste)
¼ cup raw cashew nut butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup white flour
½ tsp baking powder
canola oil to grease pans and hands
½ tsp salt

How to:

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Place sugar, 1½ cups of slivered almond, marzipan, cashew butter and vanilla into food processor. Pulse until mixed. Add eggs. Process to combine. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Process again until all ingredients are incorporated. Moisten your hands with a bit of canola oil. Shape dough into about one inch diameter balls. It’s very sticky and sort of freaked me out at first. But it is worth it! Press each ball in reserved slivered almonds to coat with nuts.

shaping the cookie dough

shaping the cookie dough

Place on greased cookie tray about two inches apart. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for a couple of minutes on the trays to cool slightly. Using a spatula gently remove them from trays to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over ookies and serve. Makes about 50 cookies.

licking my fingers since the dough is soooooo good!

licking my fingers since the dough is soooooo good!

{ 4 comments }

“Welcome to ‘It’s a Nutty, Nutty, Nutty World.’ We’re just nuts about nuts. Crunch nuts with your lunch. Buy them by the bunch. Send them to friends far away to munch.”


This recipe makes me think of “Daria,” that amazing MTV show from the early 90’s about this brilliant, dorky, shy, angst-ridden, cynical high school girl, Daria, her family and classmates. The show’s really funny! In this particular episode, “It happened one nut,” Daria’s parents want her to go to counseling to improve her social skills or find a temp job in order to learn what the “real world” is really like. Yeah, scary! She tries to avoid both counseling and work but her clever dad finds her a job at a kiosk at the local shopping mall selling nuts. The only job requirements are wearing the weird uniform, bagging nuts, smiling and repeating the nut stand’s motto, which I quoted above, over and over and over again. Naturally, she has problems with all four job requirements, with very amusing results. Kevin, the good looking but sort of dumb high school football jock, is her co-worker. He really screws up the motto, saying wild things about nuts throughout the episode. Steven and I were cracking up the whole show and even now, ten years or more later (we saw reruns), we still will simply say “I’m nuts about nuts” and we’ll both laugh.

I love this granola. It’s full of nuts, so we think that you’ll be chanting “I’m nuts about nuts” when you taste it, too. The recipe’s relatively easy to make, tasty and super healthy; perfect for breakfast or even to eat as a snack.

key ingredients for health:  rolled oats and wheat germ

key ingredients for health: rolled oats and wheat germ

Nutty, Nutty, Nutty Granola

3 cups rolled oats and barley
1 cup wheat germ
½ cup dry grated coconut
Pinch of salt
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup of raw cashews
¾ cup raw Brazil nut
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberry

How to:
Preheat oven to 275F. Place cashew and Brazil nuts in a zip lock bag, seal and roll a wine bottle over it to crush the nuts coarsely. Transfer them to large bowl then add the pumpkin seeds, coconut, wheat germ, salt and rolled oat/barley mix. Toss. Meanwhile place oil and brown sugar in a Pyrex glass dish, stir and nuke it in the microwave for about a minute or till it bubbles. Pour it into the nut mixture with the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Using a spatula toss it till liquid is incorporated and lumps are dissolved.

baking the nutty nutty nutty granola

baking the nutty nutty nutty granola

Spread mix on a large shallow baking tray and bake for about 40 min. Mix two to three times during baking. For the last 3 minutes increase temp to 350F just to toast the granola a bit being careful not to burn it. Remove from oven. Let cool completely then transfer to a glass jar. Enjoy it with soy milk, yogurt or milk.

nutty nutty nutty granola for breakfast

nutty nutty nutty granola for breakfast

{ 1 comment }

Don’t use your Halloween squash for decorations only: eat them!

don't be afraid of your butternut squash

don't be afraid of your butternut squash

Last week our Trader Joe’s store was selling butternut squash straight from Stockton, California for only $1.49 each. So cheap, yahoo! I bought 2 of them. Steven immediately asked, “why so many?” with obvious anxiety. He’s funny about squash. “To eat, of course.” I was thinking of getting even more but decided to settle for just two after that little exchange. I have always adored squash of all types. It’s a good thing too, as I grew up eating them all the time. Among the many kinds, butternut and kabocha are my favorite.

This recipe is an adaptation of my mother’s Quibebe, a pumpkin stew, except that here I have added raw cashew nut for a bit of crunch, tempeh for extra protein and jalapeño peppers for extra kick. It turned out very tasty.

Our friend John came over for dinner to catch up and hear about our recent trip to the DC area on that day. He approved of this dish. I even got an email from him later on with this cute message:

Hello,
The dinner was the best I’ve had in ages! Everything was tre fab!
Love,
Juanita Granola

creepy and festive Halloween pumpkin stew

creepy and festive Halloween pumpkin stew

Thanks for your encouragement, Juanita! Here’s one of the recipes from our “granola” dinner party:

Butternut Squash, Cashew Nut and Tempeh Stew AKA Quibebe

1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeds and guts removed, cut into small cubes
2 chopped jalapeño peppers (green and red) seeds and ribs removed, or not for extra heat
4 minced cloves of garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb (8oz) multigrain tempeh cut in ¾ inch cubes
½ tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup raw cashew nuts
Approx ¾ cup of water

How to:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan. Add jalapeño pepper and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute or so. Add squash cubes, salt, pepper, sugar. Give it a good stir. Add 1/2 cup water then cover pan. Cook on high temperature for about 4 minutes. Add tempeh and cashew nuts. Continue cooking till squash cubes have been dissolved. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. Let it cool down approx. 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice: brown for that extra-granola factor, or black Thai rice, like we did, for the holiday color.

Happy Halloween!

{ 0 comments }

raw wet granola or muesli?

by Heguiberto on October 13, 2009

I get confused with the names: granola or muesli. All I can say is that this is delicious for breakfast. Not to mention that it’s ultra granola healthy! It is very simple to make and you are going to love it! All you have to do is muesli* the ingredients below:

Raw Wet Granola or Muesli

wet granola ingredients

wet granola ingredients

Here it is:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup of soy milk
½ cup mixed raw nuts (cashew, Brazil, almonds)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1 Braeburn or Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1 tbsp grated coconut
Sprinkle of cinnamon or more to taste
Pinch salt

How to:
Place nuts in a zip lock bag and roll an empty bottle over it to crush the nuts a bit. Transfer to a stainless steel container. Add the rest of the ingredients to the container. Give it a good stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Eat within two days. Add soy milk for serving.

wet granola served at sunrise

wet granola served at sunrise

*muesli means mixture in German

{ 0 comments }

cashew and Brazil nuts ready to blend

cashew and Brazil nuts ready to blend

I get tired of regular peanut butter sometimes. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s sells many different types of nut butters other than peanut. Their variety is so large that you can go weeks without repeating the same butter: almond, cashew, macadamia, soy, sunflower seed, peanut and then back to the first. One difficulty with TJ’s is that sometimes they will just stop carrying certain items. It’s sad because once you get hooked on something in particular it’s difficult to find a replacement for it. This recently happened with their cashew butter.

It was always tasty and they offered it at a reasonable price. I used it on baked goods, on carrot and celery sticks; and as a thickening agent for soups instead of using dairy. It lends soup a creamy, silky texture that’s very good. But mostly I use cashew butter at breakfast time to spread on bread. For health reasons, I have not used “real butter” in a long time. Unfortunately, it’s been weeks since I’ve last seen TJ’s cashew butter on the shelves at my local market. I have found something similar at other places but the steep hike in price puts me off trying it. So as an alternative, I decided to make my own. It turned out delicious! I could just sit and eat it directly from the container with a spoon all day.

Homemade Cashew and Brazil Nut Butter

8 oz raw cashew nuts
½ dozen raw Brazil nuts
5 tbsp Walnut oil
1 tbsp agave and maple syrup blend
pinch salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  For a runnier texture you’ll need to add more oil. This recipe will give you enough nut butter for about a week of breakfasts for two.

Why is cashew Brazil nut butter better than dairy butter or margarine?

There’s no cholesterol in the nut butter and it has healthy fats. Walnut oil contains high levels of omega 3, 6 and 9 oils. Brazil nuts are packed with protein, vitamin E, contain selenium (a powerful antioxidant) and are believed to aid on cancer prevention. Cashews also come packed with protein and high levels of copper, which is also a great antioxidant.

cashew Brazil nut butter ready to eat

cashew Brazil nut butter ready to eat

{ 0 comments }

banana bread with brazil nuts, cashews and pepitas

July 3, 2009

Steven liked my banana picture displayed here in this post. He says it reminds him of Andy Warhol’s famous banana painting that’s featured on the album cover by Velvet Underground. I like Warhol’s pop art in general including the aforementioned banana. I haven’t been to the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh yet, which I’ve heard is […]

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Read the full article →