From Steakhouse, to my boyfriend’s place with, The Kids, and then to my kitchen, where no piece of meat makes its dreary way, my Valentine’s weekend was a bit eclectic. In fact, it would be safe to say that my life is hardly dull these days.
That being said, I made the mistake, or rather– I was feeling quite optimistic when I imagined myself creating a new recipe, inspired by Cohen’s book: ”Raw Food for Everyone,” and doing so with little time, and with ingredients that I am hardly accustomed to. Yikes! That was a mouthful in itself!
Lucky for me, when you have some good wholesome ingredients, and the right amount of love, any recipe still has got potential…
but the romantic, and perfectionist in me had imagined up an unrealistic evening where everything was complete and perfected by the time the boy walked in the door. Well… maybe given more than 15 minutes it would have been fabulous… but that was not how it played out.
When my guest arrived that evening, I was half ready, sporting a blue apron, and hyperventilating (dramatization) that my cashew cream sauce was hardly what I imagined it to be. In walked Superman, and my troublesome concoction became a masterful work of art. The sauce still needs more work, but the whole idea is actually quite simple. It would just need more than 15 minutes time. Regardless though, the presentation was so beautiful, that I had to share this recipe. Please experiment. Criticize. and Critique to your hearts delight.
Vegan Eggplant Parm– Take I
Set oven to 350-400 degrees and “warm”the following veggies for 10 minutes. Keep in oven until they start to “wilt” and just barely “wrinkle”. You can place on a foil and “oil” with coconut butter, or your choice of cooking spray to prevent sticking (or put them directly on a no-stick cookie sheet).
- 1 eggplant sliced into giant coins
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into coins
Cashew Cream Sauce
This sauce still needs the boy’s culinary touch, but like I said, the finished piece looked so nice, I had to share…
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/8 cup warm water (we used coconut milk but that was much too sweet)
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes, presoaked
- large garlic clove
- large shallot
- Italian spices– basil, oregano, thyme, parsley
- Pinch of cayenne, or crushed red pepper
- Pinch of celtic sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
Blend in your high power blender until smooth. Ideally, one will have a Vitamix, but I used a “Ninja.”
My Valentine took over the presentation part, and I watched in awe at how quickly he assimilated the parts and pieces I provided. Using three zuchinni coins to every eggplant coin, he layered the veggies, using the Cashew Cream Sauce, or “Cheese,” as “glue.” He also tossed in some raw spinach leaves for added “elegance” and topped it with a lone shiitake mushroom.
The raw dish was enjoyed over a bed of mixed greens (not shown) and devoured.
This dish was creamy, rich, and surprisingly “cheesy.”
Oh… and it really would have been easy if I had not been experimenting for the first time. I suggest making the cashew cream sauce the night before presenting it with the “fresh out of the oven” veggies.
While I would not recommend enjoying this on a nightly basis, this recipe is sure to wow guests and makes for one heck of a dazzling dinner party entree.
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We will play with this recipe. It has much potential! What are your thoughts on this recipe? How would you adjust and add flavor? Have you ever experimented with cashews as a cream sauce?