C.R.E.A.M. (Cashews Really Endanger Authentic Menus)


Local, nut-free, budget conscious sauce bases that are endlessly customizable and able to be applied in a multitude of recipes!

Cashews are anywhere from $14-$25/lb, these base suggestions are considerably less expensive, didn’t get shipped around the world, and are also easier to blend up in traditional mixers. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you are ready to invest in a Vita Mix, do it. You will not regret it, but, if you happen to have a decent quality Kitchen Aid mixer (the one we have in our house is a couple of decades old, and was a hand me down from my mother-in-law), then these recipe ideas will be much easier to succeed with.

Butternut Squash! Well, honestly, any squash outside of a delicata or spaghetti squash will work great. Roast the squash, cube it up and boil it, heck you can even microwave it or put it in a crock pot with water in the morning so that it is ready to use that night. Remember, cooking is just a combination of heat and time.

Squash based sauces are great for mac ‘n cheeze, for nachos, for broccoli or potato soups. The basic add ins for a great squash sauce is a bit of plant based milk to thin it out (oat is a great choice), nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic powder, a little olive oil, and a little salt.

Cauliflower! That’s right, cauliflower! The markets are loaded with cauliflower right now! I really love roasting cauliflower in a shallow pan with a bit of water. Not too much water, you don’t want it covered, but enough to steam it, while you still get some crisp to the top of the cauliflower. Then, add your seasonings. This is great for a pasta sauce, so choose your plant based milk, a good oil like olive, avocado, safflower, or even sesame for use over some udon or soba noodles.

For an Italian feel, add in some oregano, thyme, or herbs de Provence.

White beans! Canned white beans, Great Northern beans, Cannellini beans, your call. Canned are great, you can even include the nutrient dense water. White beans are great for a gravy, a creamy soup base, seasoned with sauteed or fried mushrooms, a little salt, pepper, soy sauce, and sage.

Soaked sunflower seeds! The best advice I have for using soaked sunflower seeds as the base for a cream sauce is to soak them for at least 12 hours. They can soak for 48 hours. The longer they have soaked, the creamier they will become when blended.

Root vegetables! Turnips, celeriac, rutabaga, carrots, and sweet potatoes all can be cubed, boiled, and then blended up to make a cream sauce.

Additional options for cream sauce bases/add ins: silken tofu, roasted eggplant (think baba ganoush), yogurt, soaked & blended oats (if serving hot, oats will really thicken up a sauce), aqua faba from a can of garbanzo beans, coconut cream, or even sunchokes!!

Thickening, thinning, and personalizing! If the sauce needs to be thickened, you can mix a little corn or potato starch with some veg broth or water, add it to the mix in the blender, pulse it a few times, and then reduce over low heat. If you need to thin the sauce, just add more liquid and pulse a few times.

Experiment with the flavors! Add some paprika, add in a little agave or sugar to sweeten the sauce, you can toss in some dried hot pepper flakes, shredded veggies, or dried mushrooms, seaweed, veg broth powder (I recommend the Seitenbacher veg broth powder in the yellow canister), your favorite mustard, or whatever else your palate is suggesting you put in there!

The most important thing to remember is that, just because it calls for cashews, doesn’t mean you have to use them.

Your local soils are offering up some incredible ingredients, ingredients that offer the opportunity to taste the flavors of our region, and for you to get comfortable with really experimenting and exploring the possibilities available to you right where you are!

Remember, worthwhile knowledge, such as how to grow and prepare your own food is purposefully kept from you. That way you are more likely to remain reliant on others to provide the basic necessities of existence. More likely to pay for a processed & packaged item of convenience, loaded with preservatives, than to prepare a dish customized to your personal perception of flavor.

Well, thank you for reading, please stop by any event where John, or Zachary, or I are popping up and talk cooking with us!!


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