Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing

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With my bounty of amazing salad greens from my CSA, I’ve been making salads most nights for the next day’s lunch. The other night, I had run out of vinaigrette, and was trying to decide what kind of dressing to make next.

I had just received a a huge amount of dill in that week’s veggie share. I was still wondering what I should do with it. It then occurred to me to use a small amount of it in to a salad dressing. I remember having a great creamy dill dressing. I wanted to recreate it in some way, but I didn’t want it to be the same gloopy dressing. I just wanted some of that flavor.

I’ve noticed that many creamy salad dressings tend to include either a sour cream or buttermilk on the dairy side. On the non-dairy side, I am always seeing mayonaisse in dressings. I didn’t want either of those things.

I wanted something vegan.

I thought about the cashew sauce I made for pasta this winter. The cashew cream brought so much creaminess to the dish. I wondered if I could do something similar with a salad dressing.

I quickly grabbed some cashews out of the freezer and began soaking. I let them soak for about an hour and prepped the other ingredients.

After about an hour, I drained the cashews and placed in my Cuisinart Food Processor along with some shallots, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and water.  With the machine running, I then slowly added some olive oil to the mix.  This dressing would also work well in a high-powered blender.

I transferred the dressing to a jar. Of course I tried a bit before placing in the fridge to chill for the next day. Delicious! I am definitely going to use cashews more often to add creaminess to dressings!

 

Creamy Vegan Dill Salad Dressing
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • ½ cup cashews
  • water for soaking
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • additional salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in water to cover for at least an hour.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  3. Place all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a blender or food processor.
  4. Process the dressing. Slowly add in the olive oil with the processor or blender going.
  5. Transfer the dressing to a bottle.
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Enjoy!

vegandilldressing

Pasta and Veggies with Cashew Cream Sauce

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Sometimes I make something and I wonder why I rarely or never make it. This dinner was one of those situations. It was that good and that easy.

As I do every day, I ask my husband what he thinks would be good for dinner the following night. He mentioned to me that he had a craving for some sort of pasta with a cream sauce. I knew I didn’t really want a heavy and rich cream sauce. Between the butter and heavy cream, I wasn’t ready for a stomachache.

I had one of those light bulb moments. Yosef from This American Bite recently had me drooling over his cashew based Mac and Cheese dish. In the past, I have been successful with various cashew based dishes. Cashews somehow add a wonderful nutty creaminess to a dish and can mimic what dairy and cheese can do. What if I made this Alfredo like sauce out of cashews? I had plenty of leftover cashews from when I made the candied nuts the other day.

I am so glad that I remembered about the cashews. It was so easy to make and I think I may even like using them more than a dairy based cream sauce.  The family couldn’t even tell the difference that there was no cheese or cream in the dish. Will definitely be making this again.



Pasta and Veggies with Cashew Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews
water
1 pound pasta (I used medium shells), cooked to al dente (reserve 1 cup cooking water)
1 cup vegetable broth
5 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
2 tsp. basil, dried
2 tsp. thyme, dried
2 tsp. oregano, dried
2 tsp. sage, dried
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
red pepper flakes (optional)
additional salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start out by soaking the cashews in a bowl of water. Let it soak for at least 4-5 hours. I left my bowl in the fridge while I went to work.

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Rinse and drain the cashews.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the cashews with the vegetable broth, 3 cloves of the garlic, lemon juice and spices. Everything should be completely pureed.

cashew cream

Heat up the olive oil in a large saute pan.  saute the onions and 2 cloves of chopped garlic for a few minutes, until soft.

Add in the sliced mushrooms and peas, and any other veggies you may like. Cook for another few minutes.

Turn the flame to medium and add in the cream sauce. Let the sauce warm for a couple of minutes.

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Add in the cooked pasta. Slowly add in the reserved pasta water until you reach your desired consistency.

Serve and Enjoy!

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Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

I’ve got Purim on the brain right now. My schedule is off and I have been procrastinating on everything, but Purim is one of my favorite holidays. I want to make it special. Ever since I was a kid, I loved the whole process of giving Mishloach Manot. As a kid, it meant driving around the neighborhood with my parents and running in to houses to hand off the goodies to our dear friends. I now have a more active role though. I love to get creative with what we put in our little packages. I always try to include something homemade and something somewhat useful.

My parents recently mentioned a dinner that they made some candied nuts. My mother went on about how easy and tasty they were. I thought back to some honey sesame cashews that I used to buy from Trader Joe’s. They were so good. Unfortunately, they aren’t kosher. I set out to make my own – with a few adaptations on flavor. These were very tasty and came together pretty easily!


Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp. coconut oil
4 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped finely
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300.

Spread out the cashews and almonds on a baking sheet and toast in oven for around 15 minutes. Check on the nuts at around 10 minutes to see if they are beginning to brown. Do not let them burn.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Spread the sesame seeds on a small baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Again, keep an eye on these as well so that they don’t burn.

Transfer the nuts to a large mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt together the coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, water and salt. Heat it on medium until the entire mixture is melted.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Pour the mixture over the nuts and stir well until everything is well coated.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Mix in the sesame seeds. Stir well.

Transfer the entire mixture to a parchment covered baking sheet. Spread out mixture well so everything is in a single layer.

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

Place baking sheet in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Break up the mixture with a wooden spoon.

Once it’s cool, it’s ready for eating! Place in pretty bags for mishloach manot distribution, or serve in bowls. This mixture should be kept in an airtight container. Happy Purim!

Honey Sesame Ginger Roasted Cashews and Almonds

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