Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cashew Ricotta In Action!

So, now you have made a nice container of Cashew Ricotta from my last post, but what to do with it now?

Here are some ideas.  Instead of posting formal recipes, I just bolded the ingredients and typed away.  Please let me know what you think of this style, is it as usable as the "listing" style with ingredients separated? Curious.

I made some some roasted fennel and asparagus that I happened to have in my fridge.  I roasted them in the oven w/ olive oil, salt & pepper (oven at about 400 or a little hotter for about 20-25 minutes).  You could also do carrots, parsnips, potatoes or whatever else you like.  Stir/turn them once about half-way through the baking time. Here are the fennel & asparagus:

Roasted asparagus & fennel.  So easy, guys.

Now, you could just cut up the veggies and put a tablespoon or more of the ricotta on them, stir it up, letting the ricotta "melt" into the warm veggies and snack away,

Or, you could boil up some pasta, any shape or size, and just mix some of the ricotta into it while it is still warm (or even use cold leftover pasta from the fridge and microwave it with some of the ricotta and a little olive oil and just mix it).   I made my son some using the microwaving leftover pasta method, and he ate THREE bowls. Ratio was about 1 cup of cooked pasta to about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta. I put the roasted fennel & asparagus in mine:

Then, with the SAME batch of ricotta (I still had tons) I made eggplant & zucchini "Parmesan." Peel one eggplant, cut on a bias (or just into rounds) and put it in a colander covered with Kosher salt for 30-60 minutes to suck out some of the bitterness.  In the meantime, peel 3 small zucchinis and slice them up.  Oil a 9x13 Pyrex pan or aluminum baking dish.  Rinse the eggplant slices in cold water once they are done (you will see that the eggplant looks wet/moist because the salt draws out the water from the eggplant) and pat dry. Now, just layer the eggplant with the cashew ricotta (smoosh some ricotta onto a piece of eggplant with a spoon) and stick the zucchini on top of the ricotta.  Here are pics:

You have a lot of zucchini left, right?  Now you "glue" them on top of the other zucchinis/eggplant.  I was using the rest of the zucchini as little chips and "scooping" up a bit of ricotta from the container and then "gluing" them onto the eggplant and the other zucchinis.  A little like an arts & crafts project, fun! Like this:

You can make a recipe of my quick marinara sauce as follows: In a large, stainless saucepan, I just sauteed two chopped carrots (for fun) in some oil, added about 1 1/2 tsp of dried oregano and salt & pepper, sauteed about 7 minutes total.  Then add two chopped cloves of garlic and saute one to two minutes more (don't burn it!).  Go ahead and add one 28 ounce can of organic, chopped tomatoes. a tablespoon (or more if you like it) of nutritional yeast in it to add body and 2-3 tablespoons of the ricotta in it to add flavor and "cheesiness."   Simmer about 20-30 minutes.  Guess what?  If you only cook it for five minutes it will still be great!  You could also (gasp!) just use a jarred sauce as well, just make sure it is a good, organic brand.  Add the nutritional yeast and the ricotta to the jarred sauce and I'm sure it will be pretty good.  Pour the sauce over the eggplant and zucchini like so:

I put some breadcrumbs on top, too.  Now, if you like, add some Daiya cheese (mozzarella kind):

Now, bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and it is hot & bubbling.  Stick a fork in it to test the eggplant/zucchini for doneness.  It will be soft, fork will pierce right through.

                                                                          Yummers! Serve over linguine, like so:

I think I'll get me some right now, I'm starving!  Guys, have fun using your Cashew Ricotta, I know I did!

BTW, I got me a new cookbook, The 30 Minute Vegan and made the coconut-lime banana bread to bring to a friend's house today.  It is AMAZING (but, um, took like an hour and not 30 minutes, but that is what I expected for a recipe like this).  Here is a picture of it:

The glaze didn't dry yet, so it looks goopy in the center, but it was great!  The authors of that book live in Hawaii, so a lot of the recipes seem to have coconut oil and macadamia nuts in them :-) no nuts in this one, just coconut (oil & shredded).  Get out the paddles of the defibber, it's worth it! Thank goodness for my friends who served a yummy vegan tofu scramble and vegan bran muffins for brunch today, we needed the detox after this guy!

Questions, comments, etc. are all welcome!  As usual, my FB friends, I'll answer anything you'd like there as well.

Have a great weekend! Dawn


  1. coconut-lime banana bread was awesome! thank, dawn. -kristen, james & torin

  2. K, J, T (& F!) My pleasure! I am open to any requests for the next time...think on it!