Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cashew "Cheese" Dip

Move over Velveeta we've gotta a healthier version of your cheese dip; just in time for Super Bowl. This dip is so addicting, you might need to double the recipe if you're having company. 

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cashew Cheese Dip is my new favorite appetizer. Not only is it inexpensive and easy to make, it also tastes like cheese dip. No saturated animal fats or fake ingredients. Its smokey roasted flavors make it unique and delicious. 

roasted red pepper cheese dip | dairy-free vegan | #purekitchen #puremamas
roasted red bell pepper cashew "cheese" dip | you'll never know there's not cheese! #purektichen #purekitchenblog

This roasted red bell pepper cheese sauce is not only good as a dip it can also be used as a cheese in lasagna or as a cream sauce for spaghetti. The recipe calls for only a few ingredients. At my house this is a staple sauce but I play around with the flavors to mix things up a bit. 

Smokey Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cashew Cheese Dip. Wow that's a mouthful! Nobody will every know it's dairy-free | vegan gf | #puremamas #purekitchen

Have you ever made a cashew cheese sauce before? If not then start here - all it takes is a few healthy ingredients and a quick blend in the blender and voila...you're all set. Impress (or trick, rather) your friends at your next Superbowl party! 

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cashew Cheese Dip | vegan gf dairy-free | #puremamas #purekitchen

Roasted Red Bell Pepper "Cheese" Dip

yields 10 ounces

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 squirt hot sauce like sriracha or dried chili peppers
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a high speed blender add all of the ingredients. Blend until super duper creamy. 
  2. If you don't not have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, you will have to soak the cashews for at least an hour before making the cheese dip. 
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Cashew Cheese Dip | dairy free vegan | #puremamas

Simple Homemade Sour Cream

A perfect vegan sour cream is super creamy, and mild in flavor, not too salty or spicy. Most often at home I just blend up a store bought vegan sour cream (which are never very good if you ask me) with cashews, lemon and some nutritional yeast. That's been my go-to for quick easy vegan sour cream.  

But this time I wanted to create a sour cream at home that doesn't require any store bought brands (which often expensive, contain emulsifiers and other ingredients). 

sour cream | vegan homemade recipe | #purekitchen

This sour cream recipe is really easy to whip up any time you're making tacos, burritos or even lasagna. Yes, I said lasagna; you can use this to make a lasagna or pasta sauce more creamy and almost cheesy in flavor. So keep this recipe someplace handy or better yet make it a few times and just memorize the quantities. 

Once you quit dairy you won't even miss it with substitutes like this. Try my Basic Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe and my Homemade Macademia Nut Ricotta recipe as well. 

vegan sour cream | simple recipe | #plantbased #purekitchen

Yields approx 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour

  • 1⁄2 cup firm or soft tofu

  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayo

  • 1⁄3 cup fresh water

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or less)

    DIRECTIONS

  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours if you have the time. Or 1-3 hours if you don’t have time.

  2. Drain water from soaked cashew bowl. Place in a high-speed blender with tofu. 

  3. Add the mayo, water, lemon, vinegar, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth. You might have to stop to scrape down the blender now and then or add a touch more water to get it going.

  4. Transfer mixture into a small, air-tight container and chill in the fridge. The cream will thicken up as it chills. The cream will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.

  5. Tips: You can also freeze it for up to 1 month. You can even it in silicone ice trays. Once solid, transfer the cups into a freezer-safe zip bag for easy grab and go portions. 

     

Arame Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing

Seaweed is a wonderful ingredient in a plant-based diet. In fact, it has been a staple in Asian diets since ancient times for good reason. Most types of seaweed are high in essential amino acids (aka protein) and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like iodine, iron, beta carotene, calcium, magnesium and much more. But let's be real, it doesn't always appeal to the taste buds. 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

To be honest, I loooove the taste of seaweed. But I know many that aren't fans at all. This salad is a great option for those that don't love the flavor or texture of arame or other seaweeds (like nori, dulse or wakame). The addition of toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and tahini reduces the ocean type of aroma and flavor but doesn't take away from the savory earthy flavors. 

The bulk of the salad is red cabbage and crunchy veggies like red bell pepper, carrots and green onion. These vegetables (and fruits to be more scientific) add a crunchy texture, more healthy minerals, and of course nutritious fiber.  

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)
Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Ume Plumb Dressing (vegan)

The dressing is so savory and tangy. There is a secret ingredient that really gives the salad pizazz: it's called ume plum vinegar. Have you ever heard of umeboshi plums? They are very common in Japan and usually taste uniquely salty and sour. Some even think they are liver cleansers and cancer fighters. Tahini adds a thickness and sesame oil adds an earthy toasty element to balance the salty sour taste of the ume plum vinegar. 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

Funny fact: My mom makes this salad every Sunday or Monday and keeps it in the fridge for the entire week. She has it for lunch almost every day with warm tortillas and avocado. Stay tuned for a Taco Tuesday recipe that includes this wonderful arame cabbage slaw! 

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan) (7 of 11).jpg
Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)

print recipe
ARAME CABBAGE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING RECIPE
Ingredients
  • 1/2 red cabbage head, julienned
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly chopped
  • 1 carrots, shaved
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dry arame, soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 c ume plum vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp tahini
  • pinch sea salt
Instructions
Combine the lemon juice, toasted sesame oil, ume plum vinegar, tahini and sea salt in a small bowl wish a whisk. Soak dry arame seaweed in warm water for about 30 seconds, until soft, then strain out the water and set aside. Prep (slice/chop) cabbage, bell pepper, carrots and green onion (scallions). You can use a mandolin or food processor if you wish to chop faster. I use a knife. Toss the salad all together with the sesame seeds and add the softened arame. Add the dressing and toss again until everything is well coated. Serve immediately. Or store the salad (with dressing on it) in an airtight container in the fridge. Salad will stay fresh for about 4 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 side salads

Arame Cabbage Salad with Tahini Dressing Recipe

SALAD INGREDIENTS

Arame Cabbage Salad | Tahini Dressing (vegan)
  • 1/2 red cabbage head, julienned 
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly chopped 
  • 1 carrots, shaved
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1/4 c dry arame, soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds, toasted

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil 
  • 1/4 cup 
  • 1/4 c ume plum vinegar {left this out last time}
  • 2-3 Tbsp tahini 
  • pinch sea salt to taste (optional)

DRESSING DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a measuring cup or small bowl. Whisk together with a fork or a whisk. 

SALAD DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak dry arame seaweed in warm water for about 30 seconds, until soft, then strain out the water and set aside. 

  2. Prep (slice/chop) cabbage, bell pepper, carrots and green onion (scallions). You can use a mandolin or food processor if you wish to chop faster. I use a knife. 

  3. Toss the salad all together with the sesame seeds and add the softened arame. 

  4. Add the dressing and toss again until everything is well coated. 

  5. Serve immediately. Or store the salad (with dressing on it) in an airtight container in the fridge. Salad will stay fresh for about 4 days. 

Homemade Macadamia Nut Cheese {Ricotta Style}

Homemade fermented cheese? That sounds really labor intensive and super complicated, right? Well not exactly. Think of it as an art and the result is well worth the time spent making it. 

7J5A1437.jpg

You can use any nut you prefer. I personally love this recipe made with macadamia nuts. It's a perfect basic recipe that can be played around with. Try adding herbs or spices or garlic. You can use this homemade vegan cheese for pizza nights or in lasagna (like I did). You can stuff raviolis or use it in my baked butternut squash pasta recipe. with it or even eat it as a dip with crackers or veggies. Did you see my crumbled tempeh salad a few weeks ago? To die for! 

ricottacheeserecipe.jpg

As far as equipment goes - all you need is a high speed blender, a strainer and cheese cloth plus a little bit of patience and love

If you signed up for my newsletter in the past 3 months you would have gotten this recipe in your inbox. It went out early to those that signed up. 

If you did in fact make it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and all your variations. 

How to make Vegan Ricotta Cheese at home! #plantbasedcheese #purekitchenblog
Homemade Macadamia Nut Ricotta style Cheese. #plantbasednutrition #purekitchenblog

This Ricotta Style Vegan cheese is both fluffy and creamy at the same time. Rich in nutrients and flavor, it's a must try recipe. Adding the probiotics helps the cheese to ferment and also makes the cheese rich in good bacteria - like the other store-bought yogurt or cheese. 

I prefer this recipe to any of the cheeses I can buy on the shelves. No strange additives or binding agents or rennet (enzymes added to cheese) or casein. 

Herbed Macadamia Nut Ricotta Cheese #plantbasedcheese #purekitchenblog

Macadamia Nut Ricotta Cheese Recipe

yields approx 2 cups cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts (soaked overnight & drained)
  • 3/4 cup fresh water
  • 1 Tbsp (half a lemon) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 capsules probiotic powder supplement

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender, blend just the nuts and the water.
  2. Blend until super creamy with no chunks. 
  3. Transfer mixture from blender to a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a bowl. (see photos)
  4. Add the probiotics, salt salt and lemon. Fold the mixture a few times to combine. 
  5. Place the bowl with strainer and nut mixture someplace in the house at room temperature away from kids and dust and open windows. The mixture will sort of ferment or culture during this time. 
  6. You will want it to sit for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  7. Refrigerate mixture when it's done fermenting.  
  8. Use this cheese as you wish. 
How To Make Homemade Ricotta Style Vegan Cheese #plantbased #purekitchenblog

Don't forget to share your thoughts or question in the comments below. Feel free to share on Instagram if you do in fact make a recipe. Please hashtag #purekitchenblog or tag @purekitchenblog and follow me for so many recipes and photos that I don't share on my blog - for whatever reason.  

Cauliflower Sauce Risotto with Herbs + Kale

Going dairy free or even just eating less dairy requires getting comfortable with getting creative in the kitchen and thinking outside the box. Making things creamy isn't easy when you don't eat half and half, milk or cheese. What then? Do you have to give up creamy comfort foods for good? No, not exactly. 

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

My 5 top favorite plants to cream things up:

  1. Cashews
  2. Potatoes
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Tofu
  5. Dairy-free Yogurt and/or Milks combined with nutritional yeast
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Today I'm going to introduce you to a creamy cauliflower sauce that works well for risotto or as a soup base or even a vegan fettuccini. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful Pinch Of Yum blog. I had yet to make one of their recipes before but seriously drool at every photo of their plant-based creations. This recipe is originally not vegan, it's made with chicken stock and real butter. So I adapted it to fit my diet. And it worked very well. The sauce gets an A in my book. 

This risotto is really simple and basic but is garlic-y and really really creamy! The color of the sauce also gives the illusion of dairy, which is nice because comfort foods are all about past memories. Physiology studies show that comfort foods we crave are actually artifacts from our past. Crazy right?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

What are your comfort foods? I'd love to try and recreate them without dairy or meat. Let me know if you have any suggestions or foods you just can't live without that you'd like to give a makeover. Do you have any other memories associated with food?

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

I personally crave bagels! All throughout high school I was obsessed with bagels. I ate them daily topped with honey, cream cheese, butter with salt, berry jam or even almond butter. I mostly crave cream cheese. I shared a photo on Instagram the other day of my everything bagel (gluten-free) topped with Kite Hill cream cheese (dairy free). It did the trick. Craving cured. 

Back to this recipe (wink) - it was also approved by my kids. That's a big deal. When my kids like something I know it's a winner because it's hard to find something that both kids and parents will eat that is healthy. They truly loved it. Also, If you are still new to being dairy free then add some regular parmesan to this dish after making it. Just fold in the parmesan shreds. You will think the entire dish was made from cheese. Just a little goes a long way. Trust me. My mom tested this out and she loved it. She said she didn't need to add the parmesan at all but even just a little bit did add that cheese flavor she was craving.  Plus it's topped with healthy fibrous toasty kale

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto Recipe

Yields 4 dinners

INGREDIENTS

Risotto

  • 1 1/2 cup dry uncooked risotto rice
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cubes or tsp bouillon 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 7 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Myconos)
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of lightly dried or fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil  

Garnishes (optional)

Kale Chips:

  • 1/2 head kale, chopped into 1-2 inch strips
  • 1 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • sea salt + pepper

Vegan Cashew Parmesan Cheese

DIRECTIONS

Prep:

  1. Cook the risotto rice in the same way you would cook normal white or brown rice. I used a rice cooker. 
  2. Set the cashews in a bowl covered with water and let them soak. 
  3. Preheat oven to 400 for the kale chips. 
  4. Get out the following: food processor to blend the sauce, blender for the cashew cream, a cookie sheet to make the kale chips, a saucepan for the onion and garlic and large pot for boiling the cauliflower. 

Now Get Cooking:

Cauliflower:

  1. Cut the large stem off the cauliflower. Chop the rest into big pieces. Set the cauliflower in a large pot on the stove. Cover it with the 6 cups of water and the bouillon cubes/paste. 
  2. Boil the broth. And then turn the head down to medium/low and cook covered with the lid until cauliflower is soft and fully cooked. About 8 or so minutes. Do not discard the water.
  3. Using a slotted spoon you'll want to remove the cauliflower from the hot broth and put it into a food processor for blending. 

Onion, Butter & Garlic: 

  1. Add the butter and onion only to a saucepan on medium heat. Let the onions cook for about 5 minutes until they are translucent and start to caramelize a little on the edges.
  2. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add this mixture to the cauliflower in the food processor bowl. 

Cashew Cream:

  1. Add the soaked cashews to a blender with 1 cup water. Blend this up until creamy. 
  2. Add 1/2 cup this cream to the food processor bowl with the cauliflower and butter mixture. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

The Cauliflower Sauce:

  1. Now that everything is in the food processor you'll want to add the salt and pepper. 
  2. Blend away. And keep adding the cauliflower broth for more liquid if needed. You don't want this sauce to be super duper creamy and thick. But you don't want it to be a soup either. So play around and keep adding broth by a spoonful until you have the perfect texture. No chunks. 

Risotto:

  1. Add the cauliflower sauce to the warm risotto rice. Blend gently with a large slotted spoon or wooden spoon. Gently fold the sauce into the rice. Add all the fresh or lightly dried herbs. 

Mini Kale Chips (optional):

  1. Chop the kale. Large stems removed. Add the pieces to a cookie sheet. 
  2. Gently massage the olive oil, salt and pepper into the kale. 
  3. Lay the pieces evenly across the cookie sheet. Do not overlap. 
  4. Cook about 6 minutes in the oven. You'll know when they are done. They are very flat and the color changes to a darker brown. They should not be burnt
  5. Garnish the risotto with these little kale chips. 
Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Risotto | Vegan | Gluten-free | #puremamas @julinovotny

If you're in the mood to really play around with innovative ways to make creamy foods without dairy, sign up for my newsletter because I am sharing a homemade ricotta recipe that uses macadamia nuts and is to die for. You can use it in so many recipes to add serious creaminess. The texture is similar to goat cheese.