Thursday, March 5, 2020

Golden Cashew Sauce with Chile and Lime Served with Black Rice and Panfried Tempeh

I have a vacation fantasy wherein a personal chef prepares all of my meals with fresh, nutritious ingredients put together just the way I like them. I have all the time in the world to explore whatever surroundings I’m visiting, do lots of yoga, go for long runs, and every lovely locally-sourced, organic snack, beverage, and meal appears perfectly-prepared just when I want it. In this particular fantasy, the food and drinks would look a lot like what you’ll find in the new book from Amy Chaplin, Whole Food Cooking Every Day: Transform the Way You Eat with 250 Vegetarian Recipes Free of Gluten, Dairy, and Refined Sugar of which I received a review copy. As I read the book, the same thought kept coming to mind: this is what I want to eat every day. The twenty chapters each present a base recipe or two followed by several variations on that main idea. The one exception is the Vegetables: Land and Sea chapter that includes a variety of dishes with different ingredients. The recipes are gluten-free, sometimes grain-free, and mostly vegan, but some options call for eggs and goat cheese is suggested here and there. This book gives you building blocks for putting together nutritionally-dense and variety-rich meals that completely bypass highly refined, processed, and artificial foods. Throughout, there are suggested ways to customize the recipes and ideas for what to pair them with for creating interesting twists and complete meals. The photos showing all the flavor variations in each chapter made me want to try every option. Among the chia bircher bowls and porridges in the first and second chapters alone, there are sweet, savory, simple, elaborately-garnished, spring, summer, fall, and winter directions to try. The gluten-free breads, with toppings options, had me longing to fill my freezer with them. I started with the Black Rice Sesame Bread made after soaking black rice and black sesame seeds overnight before grinding them with the remaining ingredients in the food processor to make the dough. The nutty, toasted slices of bread were delicious with smashed avocado and sliced hakurei turnips. There are nut and seeds milks to try, compotes, soups, bean dishes, dressings, sauces, crackers, bars, cakes, and more. I’ve made nut butter before, but I’d never thought of making coconut butter by grinding dried, unsweetened coconut in the food processor. The dressings, made mostly with vegetables and just a little oil, have inspired me too. The artichoke dressing with meyer lemon and chives is on my list. My second stop in the book was for the Berry Chia Pudding made with frozen strawberries cooked with orange juice to soften before being mixed with cashews, coconut butter, and vanilla. The puree was whisked with chia seeds and left in the refrigerator for serving with cacao nibs and freeze-dried strawberries. I also tried the Matcha Berry Muffins made grain-free with dried coconut, sunflower seeds, almond flour, and coconut flour. They were tender and light with just maple syrup and orange juice for sweetness. I couldn’t pass up the Date-Sweetened Granola made with a puree of softened dates and no other sweeteners. I loved that it included buckwheat groats since that’s become one of my favorite additions to granola. But, the dish I want to tell you all about today is from the Sauces chapter. 

All of the versatile sauces would work well for noodle dishes, paired with vegetables, or as dips. I quickly fell for the photo of the Golden Cashew Sauce with Chile and Lime shown served with black rice, panfried tempeh, and a tangle of sprouts. I set about recreating it. The base recipe for a Creamy Nut Sauce was followed with some additions. Chopped onion was sauteed in olive oil until golden, and then garlic was added along with grated fresh ginger and turmeric and chopped red chile. Mirin and water were added for deglazing and allowed to simmer. The mixture was transferred to a blender along with raw cashews, more water, tamari, and lime juice. The sauce can be made warm by adding boiling water to the blender, or it can be made at room temperature and reheated before serving. I browned some slices of tempeh, steamed some black rice, made a quick pickle of kohlrabi and carrots, and did my best to mimic the presentation shown in the book. 

The thick sauce added great flavor as each bite of tempeh was pulled through it. I’ll make it a bit thinner with more lime juice when I use it for a rice noodle dish with lots of cucumber and chiles. First, there’s so much more I want to try here. The crackers, waffles, bars, and cauliflower bakes all look so good. With all the recipe variations, meal plans, and prep tips, this book makes it easy to eat like this every day.

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  1. This looks seriously delicious and tempting with that golden nutty sauce!

  2. Lisa, why do you do this to me, every single time? I don't need another cookbook... but but but... you are making it impossible to resist....

  3. Replies
    1. Great book, I want to start with her crackers. I am away on a trip but revving my baking engines!

  4. Oh Lisa, this is such an interesting sauce...cashew, ginger and turmeric...sounds amazing, and I love black rice...great meal.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

  5. Wow, what a wonderful looking dish! Really gorgeous. That sauce sounds fantastic!

  6. Lisa this looks wonderful and delicious !!

  7. That cashew sauce looks particularly inviting! BTW, I checked out Diana Henry's book, 'From the Oven to the Table' from the library. That way, I can enjoy some of the recipes without having to buy another cookbook (hope that doesn't sound mean)!

    1. That doesn't sound mean at all! I love browsing cookbooks at the library.


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