Cashew Parmesan

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There was a time (embarrassingly recently) that I didn’t know that Parmesan cheese came in any form other than a green plastic container that you could shake on things. Salty, nutty and fairly non-descript, this powdered food-stuff bears little to no resemblance to real parmesan cheese, but it is amazing on so many foods. It just provides a little boost. I was very sad when I found out that it wasn’t vegetarian, let alone vegan.

Recently, I started seeing these recipes around the internet for vegan parmesan cheese made with raw cashews nuts. I tried making it but found that it lacked some of the depth of the powdered parmesan cheese of my youth.

After playing around with the ingredients, it turns out that the fix was the easiest solution (and the last one that I tried, of course).

Roast the cashews first!

And so, while I won’t tell you that this is exactly like the cheese that you are used to, it is definitely delicious on all sorts of things and will more than fill the green-canister shaped hole in your life.

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Cashew Parmesan Cheese
 
Prep time
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Vegan Parmesan cheese substitute
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ TBSP sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Arrange cashews in a single layer on a pan.
  3. Roast cashews in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through until golden brown. Watch as they can burn quickly.
  4. Once cashews are done, remove from oven and allow to rest until cool.
  5. Add cooled cashews, salt and nutritional yeast in the bowl of a food processor.
  6. Blend until a fine powder.
  7. Sprinkle on things!
  8. Mmmmm.

 

Thai Spiced Cashews

Thai Spiced Cashews

There is nowhere safe, nowhere to hide.

Everyone in Chiang Mai is after you.

It’s the Songkran festival here in Chiang Mai!

Songkran (Water festival) is meant to be a time of cleansing and renewal… essentially the New Year’s party in Northern Thailand. What that actually looks like here in Chiang Mai is people, both Thai and Westerners alike, wandering the streets with water pistols, buckets and just about anything else they can fill with water and soaking everyone who walks by. Screaming and laughing, smiles everywhere… and that’s just the adults!

It’s nothing short of amazing to be involved in it this year. Especially great because temperatures have been reaching a stifling 40C during the afternoons lately. I’ve never been so happy to have a bucket of ice water dumped on me by a truck full of Thai ladyboys.

The atmosphere is so festive and alive, which, in laid back Chiang Mai, is really cool to see. The evenings during Songkran are especially great. The whole place comes alive with the colours, smells and sounds of the markets and the ever present thumping of bass music from hundreds of different speakers around the city.  Street food is everywhere and everyone seems happy despite being soaked from morning to night.

I love this New Year’s tradition.

It beats watching a big silver ball drop from the sky at midnight.

What better way to start a new year than by washing the old one away?  By running in to the streets and playing with your friends and neighbours, breaking down barriers with strangers, even if only for one day.

Thai Spiced Cashews
 
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Spicy, sweet, salty Thai spiced cashews
Author:
Recipe type: Small Bites
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 250 g raw cashews
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tsp garlic chili sauce (sriracha)
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Instructions
  1. Zest lime and grate ginger and combine in a small bowl with sugar, salt and chill sauce.
  2. Add oil to a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Once hot, add in cashews and cook 6 to 7 minutes, frequently stirring, until golden brown. Careful not to burn!
  4. Toss in spices, quickly stir to coat the cashews and then cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat and pour cashews on to a plate or baking sheet to cool.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 BEN’S VERDICT (AKA A MEATEATER RESPONDS):

These spiced cashews hit almost all of my major food groups: fat, salt and chilli. The last food group that it doesn’t hit is taken care of by the accompanying  beer. I ate the whole bowl of cashews by the end of the first bottle and then asked for more (nuts that is not beer). 

Perfect snack after a glorious of throwing water around! 

Score: 4/5