Sunday, August 26, 2012

Vegan Thin Mints

I finished my last minute preparations for Tropical Storm Isaac by early afternoon so I decided to make some snacks for tomorrow.  I pinned this recipe awhile ago.  It just looked so simple and easy, as well as tasty.  And yes, it was incredibly simple and easy.  It took me about ten minutes, then I just had to wait for the chocolate to harden in the fridge.

The recipe can be found here.  I will enjoy snacking on thin mints tomorrow while the storm rages on.  To all of my fellow Floridians, stay safe and dry!

Coming soon are recipes for homemade, vegan ranch dressing and homemade onion rolls!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pici Pasta with Peppery Cashew Cream

My last post was a recap of my final meals in Italy.  And one of my favorite, final things I ate in Italy was a pasta dish, pici with cheese and black pepper.  It was so simple and amazingly delicious (a characteristic off all of my favorite dishes).  While I was your normal run-of-the-mill vegetarian in Italy, once I got home I started transitioning to a vegan diet.  And now I've started the 30 Day Vegan Challenge (day 5 and going strong).  I really wanted to recreate the dish but I knew I had to do it vegan.

This vegan version tasted exactly as I remembered it, if not better.  Because there is almost no fat yet it was still filling and cheesy and warm and wonderful.  I brought back a bag of pici from Italy, but you can use any long noodle.  Spaghetti or fettuccine would work well. 

Pici Pasta with Peppery Cashew Cream:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 cups water
  • Long pasta of your choice
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3/4-1 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • Parsley, minced for garnish
Drain and rinse your soaked cashews.  Blend with two cups of water until smooth.  Bring pot of water to a boil and cook past according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, in another pot or saute pan saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant.  De-glaze with white wine.   Stir in cashew cream, bring to a simmer.  Stir in nutritional yeast.  Add pepper, starting with two teaspoons, adding more to suit your palate. 

Once pasta is done, drain in a colander, then return to the pot.  Pour on sauce.  Serve immediately, garnish with fresh parsley.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Eats in Italy: Part 4

 This will be my last post about what I ate in Italy.  It's been great reliving the memories.  And even better, I've recreated one of the dishes in this post, so that recipe will be up soon.

This first picture is a Tuscan soup called ribollita.  My mom and I each had a bowl for lunch in Radda.  We knew we were going to have another ridiculously long dinner but since it was going to be for 6+ hours, we also knew we needed to eat lunch.  This soup was perfect.  It was light, fairly veggie heavy, and a delicious lunch.

And yes, as it turns out, we did have our final, hours long dinner that night.  It started with some anti-pasti, and then two types of pasta for the second course, both served family style.  The first was tagliatelle with a mushroom sauce. 

The second was pici pasta with cheese and black pepper.  Even though I knew there would be more food coming, I filled up on both pastas.  The problem was that I couldn't decide which type I liked better, so I kept going back in forth between the two, eating two big portions of pasta.  I never did make up my mind.

After our tour is Tuscany, my mom and I took a side trip to Venice for two days.  The weather was terrible, the city somewhat touristy and overcrowded, but we still had a good time.  As soon as we arrived in the city I got ourselves a map and we walked to the iconic Harry's Bar.  Yes, it was crazy expensive.  But I just didn't think we should miss out on the birth place of the bellini (peach puree and prosecco).   And it was a delicious cocktail, shared with one of my absolute favorite people in the world.

I can't say enough wonderful things about this trip.  Beyond the food (which was obviously fantastic) our tour group was great, all the guides were wonderful, and every person we met was a pleasure.  If you're ever looking for a small group tour in Europe that lets you sleep in and provides you with amazing food and drink, check out Tuscany Tours.   Tell them I sent you.  Ciao!