While my friend was here, we talked about my blog. We have a very honest relationship. She shared with me that the cashew "cheese" on the blog looked "absolutely disgusting" and stated that she had started to wonder if I was losing it. This, of course, led to me insisting that she try it. She took her first bite with celery and then asked if she could double dip (read: she liked it). She then somewhat sheepishly asked if I had anything else she could try the cashew "cheese" on. I toasted her a piece of sprouted grain bread and topped it with the cashew "cheese". After devouring it, she asked for a second piece! She admitted that the cashew "cheese" was pretty amazing and addictive. Score for me! Her only suggestion was that I stop calling it "cheese" which grosses her out and possibly rename it "cashew spread" or "cashew dip" ... I'll take that into consideration. ;)
|I'd say she likes it. A lot.|
While my buddy was here, we hit up one of my new fave restaurants that serves vegan and gluten-free options. I ordered the Buckwheat "Bean" Burrito described on the menu as, "A living gluten-free spinach and sun-dried tomato wrap filled with "beans" made from almonds and buckwheat, topped with cashew cheese, mixed with greens, tomatoes, and onions. Served with house made gluten-free corn chips, fresh salsa, and grapes." It was realllllllly yummy. I am still unsure why they could not use regular beans ... gluten I am guessing? Regardless ... delish. And those corn chips? I have GOT to get the recipe. They tasted so clean. I do not live in a place with a lot of restaurants that cater to the healthy-minded, gluten-free, whole food, or vegan folks, so I feel really lucky to have found this gem.
So, with it being Sunday and all, I decided to try a few new recipes that will leave me plenty of leftovers throughout the upcoming week. The first recipe I tried is adapted from one I got from the Once Upon A Chef website. The recipe is for "Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado, and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette. Listen up when I say ... you do NOT want to miss out on this one!
Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado, and Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette
- 2 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained
- 4 ears fresh corn, cooked, cooled, and cut off of the cob (see below for help with this)
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, put through garlic press or minced
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6-8 teaspoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 2 limes (at least 8 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest (see below for help with this)
- 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish if you wish
- 2 Haas avocados, diced
- Put all ingredients except for avocado into a large bowl and mix. I tossed my ingredients together with two large spoons.
- Add avocados to mixture and lightly toss so that the avocados don't become mushy.
- 4 medium zucchini
- 5 tablespoons cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press or minced
- 2-3 pints (typical container is 1 pint) ripe grape tomatoes
- garlic salt to taste (I like quite a bit)
- red pepper flakes to taste (I like a lot!)
- 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves (torn apart or chopped)