when nothing but nachos will do!

ok, i promise i’l post something green, or with some more serious nutritional content very soon.  next week. but this week i’m all about our kind of junk food!  especially because on sunday i know something like 88% of this country will be watching football (why?!) and the temptation to munch on chicken wings and pizza will be strong. but i have a better idea my friends…. these {vegan} nachos.  that’s right. make a heaping plate of these and forget all about chicken wings and pizza, you won’t need them.  this is how we do good old fashioned junk food, and once you try you’ll be hooked.  *i prefer my junk food to be easy.  i don’t want to be slaving away in the kitchen for a plate of nachos.  that being said, if slaving away over nachos is your thing there’s definitely room to improve upon this recipe with some home cooked garlic black beans or homemade habanero salsa.  recipe and a seizure inducing animated nacho pile after the jump.  yay!

the what:

yellow corn tortilla chips (organic, lightly salted)

1 cup of diced yellow onion

2 cups crumbled extra firm tofu (frozen and defrosted)

3- 4 limes

1 tomato

1 avocado

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder

olive oil

water

optional additions:  black beans, black olives, jalapenos, cilantro, chives, corn, homemade salsa, cholula

sea salt

the how:

- soak cashews overnight.  freeze and then defrost tofu (this changes the texture of it)

for the guacamole:

- dice tomato, red onion and avocado.  combine in a bowl with the juice of one lime and a pinch of sea salt (more to taste)  add chopped cilantro if you have it (to taste)  

-mash avocado into preferred consistency and set aside.

for the cashew cream sauce:

- in blender (preferably high speed like a vitamix) combine cashews, juice of two limes (more or less to your personal taste- i recommend starting with one) 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/3 cup of water (add more until you have a light, sour cream like texture)

-set aside

for the chipotle tofu topping:

- in a frying pan saute one cup of onion in olive oil until it begins to soften

- add crumbled tofu, chili powder, chipotle powder and sea salt (adjust to taste)

- add juice from one lime

- add water 1 tablespoon at a time to moisten

- cook until onions are soft and tofu has absorbed chili flavorings

the rest is all just assembly- chips, tofu, guacamole, cashew cream sauce and whatever other toppings you decide to load it with.  see animated gif (at your own risk) for a demo, should you need it.   enjoy!   

carrot ginger soup – two ways!

the weather here was amazing this weekend, i actually enjoyed a couple hours of sunning pool side! and please don’t hate me if you’ve just come in from digging your car out of a snowbank- i did close to 18 winters in maine, i can feel your pain.  and your frozen toes.  ahhhhhhh!  don’t worry, this soup will warm you up.

as much as i love this warm weather it’s strange because it’s JANUARY!  so to make it feel wintry in the best possible way i cooked up this carrot ginger soup. it’s my first time making a cashew cream and i apologize in advance if my next ten recipes are nothing more than excuses to drench something (anything!) in it.  i’ve fallen ass over teakettle in love. i may have even proposed marriage somewhere between tasting it with a sprig of thyme and mixing in curry powder.  *sigh*

recipe after the jump!

the what:

5 cups chopped carrots

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

4 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp sea salt

cashew cream sauce:

1 cup raw whole cashews, soaked overnight in water

1/2-3/4 cup of water 

1/2 orange

1/4 tsp sea salt

curry powder

the how:

- in a large soup pot combine onions, ginger and coconut oil.  cook over medium/low heat until onions are soft and transparent.

- add carrots, orange juice, vegetable broth and sea salt to pot and cover. cook over medium/low heat until carrots are soft (somewhere around 20 minutes).  

- let soup cool while you prepare the cashew cream

- place drained, soaked cashews in blender (i used my vitamix twice in this one recipe!)

- add sea salt, juice of half an orange, and 1/2 cup of water to blender and mix until creamed.  add 1/4 cup more water for a thinner consistency, based on your preference

- set aside cashew cream sauce while you finish the soup

- use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the carrot soup, working in batches and transferring to a serving bowl when pureed. (it’s not necessary to clean your blender between the cashew cream and pureeing the soup- that extra creamy goodness will only make the soup better!)

- serve soup with a dollop of cashew cream and a sprig of thyme.  OR, mix a little curry powder into the cream sauce (to your taste preference) for a different experience all together! be sure to have a bowl of the cashew cream handy while you’re eating, adding dollops as you go is half the fun!

- enjoy!