Thursday, March 20, 2014

Recipe Thursdays (on a Sunday)- Anatomy of a Quality Salad w/ Cashew Feta Cheese

I'm sorry I haven't posted as often.  I've been working forty hours a week to pay for my car damage so I haven't written as much as I'd like.  But yesterday and today a few people mentioned to me in passing that they liked to read my blog and I was soooo flattered so I decided to finish up this piece and set it free on the internet.  Enjoy! 

One night I had a liiiiittle too much wine and Amazon one-click purchased a 5 lb bag of cashews.  I have since cancelled my Prime membership (may it rest in peace) because it turns out that my parents have one and that it is $80!! Whoops. 

Anyways, so I have a LOT of cashews.  I decided to find a few recipes in my Isa Does It cookbook that will utilize them! 

Did I mention I have a lot of cashews?

I love love love love feta cheese.  I used to put it on everything.  Wraps, salads, pizzas, frozen meals, it tasted perfect on everything.  It was salty and creamy and I missed it.  A few months ago I wouldn't even consider making a salad without a decent amount of feta on top.  I gradually weaned myself off of it and I compensated by adding more balsamic vinegar and a lot of fresh pepper and salt and some lemon juice. 

Going through my Isa Does It by the great Isa Moskowitz I saw what I had been waiting for.  I listed the recipe that's in the book (with a few tweaks to fit my personal tastes) below. 

Next up, I'm going to make a tofu feta but right now this has been working great for me!  I added an additional tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a splash of balsamic vinegar because I loooove vinegar and I adjusted it from 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt to 1/2 of a teaspoon because I accidentally put that much in last time around and it tasted gooood! 

Cashew Feta
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
splash of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Directions:  Put the cashews in a saucepan with a decent amount of water, bring to a boil and then cover and boil for 30 mins.  Drain the cashews and put them in a bowl and then mash them up so they look like crumbled feta.  Add all of the other ingredients and stir.  Let it sit in the fridge overnight and in the morning you have cashew feta!

A delicious, delicious salad from the past
 In Isa Does It, she pairs the cashew feta with a quintessential Greek salad but you can really go anywhere with this.  I usually end up putting it in a wrap but my absolute favorite thing to eat this with would be my salad.  I average about one salad a day.  I love salad.  I would eat a salad for all three meals if I had the time/could. 

I regard salad construction as an art and I am an artist. You are so lucky that I am here to teach you how to make a good salad.

How To Make A Salad by Katelyn O'Brien

1) Choose your green. I will not touch iceberg lettuce with a stick. I don't like it I don't even consider it a vegetable. When making a Katelyn salad you should probably not use iceberg lettuce. I stick with baby spinach or rucola. They're both very flavorful and compliment the flavors of the things I like to throw on a salad. 

2) Choose your bean. I like to add some protein in my salad because when I eat a salad, it's the whole meal. I alternate between canned black beans and canned chickpeas but I've used kidney beans before. For some more protein you can throw some quinoa in there. 

3) Choose your FRESH veggies. Chop up whatever you have on hand! I usually end up with bell peppers, avocado and broccoli. 

4) Choose your CANNED veggies. I have gotten myself addicted to sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. I put them in wraps and on sandwiches and they taste so good in salads. I almost always use Kalamata olives too. 

5) Choose your crunch. Walnuts on salads are my favorite but I went through a sunflower seed phase. 

6) Choose your extras. I like to sprinkle on some chia seeds for some more nutrition and a few twists of freshly ground pepper. I will also include some chopped up seitan or tofu! 

7) Dress that salad up. Choose your dressing of choice!! I usually stick with balsamic vinegar mixed with some larrupin sauce. Yummmm. My mouth is watering so hard right now. 

Now go make your salads my students.   Also I got the Veganomicon cookbook in the mail a few days ago and I am SO. PSYCHED.

Nothing is really new in my life.  Peter and I took another trip downtown and just walked around and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Here are some pics!

oh hey Peter
The Egg Castle
Sunset oooOOOOoooo how romantic
Ciao ciao! - Katelyn
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