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Sensi Magazine

Plants Packing a Punch

Jun 10, 2019 02:11AM ● By Marketing SENSI MAG
As we brush off our barbecues, it’s time to brush up on healthy eating. Whether you are planning a barbecue or a dinner party, what you serve can make all the difference.

Vegan Cashew Queso
If there’s one recipe you need this summer, it’s vegan queso. Versatile and so easy to make, this pseudo-cheese can be used for nachos, dips, cheesy soups, mac ‘n cheeses, scalloped potatoes, casseroles… the possibilities are endless! (Note: If you’re allergic to cashews, substitute raw sunflower seeds.)

INGREDIENTS Makes 2 cups
• 1 cup raw cashews
• 1 ½ cups water
• 2 cups soaking water (for soaking cashews only!)
• 3 tbsp lemon juice
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp miso
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• ½ tsp chili powder
• ½ tsp garlic powder
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ¼ tsp turmeric
• Pico de gallo (optional)

STEP 1: Soak cashews in soaking water overnight or for at least 4 hours; drain.

STEP 2: Blend cashews with the rest of the ingredients (except pico) in a high-speed blender until smooth. (If needed, add more water a little at a time.)

STEP 3: Transfer to a saucepan and warm over medium heat until heated through. If desired, add a spoonful of pico de gallo to add texture and spice.

STEP 4: Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy.

Smoked Beets
Why grill meats when you can smoke beets? This recipe is ideal for a grill but can also be prepared in an oven. It works great as a meat substitute in a vegan Reuben sandwich. (I make mine with gluten-free rye bread from Ridiculous Baking Company, vegan Provelone cheese from Violife Foods, sauerkraut, and homemade thousand island.)

INGREDIENTS Makes 4 cups
• 2 large red beets, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
• 2 cups water
• 1 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tbsp pickling spice
• 1 tbsp liquid smoke (Available on Amazon)

• 2 cups Wood chips for smoking (Available on Amazon)
• 1 Aluminum foil pan
• 1 large pot
• Aluminum foil
• 1 Cooling rack
• 1 Stasher bag or other sous vide bag

STEP 1: Place wood chips in aluminum foil pan. Cover with water and let soak for at least 1 hour.

STEP 2: Fill a large pot approximately three quarters full with water and bring to a low simmer, around 185°F.

STEP 3: Place beets in sous vide bag. Whisk together water, salt, and pickling spice. Add mixture to the bag.

STEP 4: Squeeze out as much air as you can from the sous vide bag (without spilling!) and seal it. Place it in the pot of water and cook 90 minutes or until beets are tender.

STEP 5: Remove bag from water and let cool. Drain the beets, reserving the liquid for another use. Rinse the beets to remove any pickling spice that remains stuck to them.

STEP 6: Preheat oven or grill to 150°F.

STEP 7: Drain most of the water from the wood chips, leaving only a very thin layer at the bottom of the pan. Add liquid smoke and mix.

STEP 8: Place cooling rack inside or across the pan.

STEP 9: Distribute beets across rack in a single layer. Keep them from overlapping as much as you can.

STEP 10: Use aluminum foil to create a tent over the beets and seal the sides. If using a small oven, top with another foil pan to save space. This step allows the beets to smoke.

STEP 11: Place pan in oven/grill and cook for 2 hours, using convection if available. (If beets are overlapping, they may need closer to 4 hours.)

STEP 12: Serve charcuterie-style or enjoy in sandwiches, salads, and buddha bowls. Store leftover beets in refrigerator. Rehydrate in a bowl of water if needed.