January 8, 2014
vegan cashew cream basil lemon pasta

I learned how to make a rich Alfredo sauce from a chef named Rose while in college at WWU. I was working at Sadighi’s, an outdated “fine dining” restaurant ran by Mr. Sadighi and his 70 year-old chef Rose. If you’ve lived Bellingham, you know which place I’m talking about. I was the hostess/busser/official napkin folder, but we never had more than six tables (total) on a Friday or Saturday night. Evenings were spent in the kitchen with just the three of us, and if I was lucky, Rose would make me dinner. She made the sauce from scratch with just a pan, spatula, fresh cream, garlic and a touch of dijon. The result was heavy, coma-inducing and delicious. When I took the first bite of this vegan version, it immediately took me back to that small kitchen and those weekend nights spent with Rose and Mr. Sadighi. It’s that kind of rich.


– 1 cup Raw Whole Cashews
– Water
– 8 ounces Dry Pasta (I used Bucatini)
– 1 Shallot, minced
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1 handful Basil, washed and chopped
– 1/2 handful Italian Parsley, washed and chopped
– Juice from 1/2 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil


In a bowl, cover cashews with cold water, cover and place in the fridge to soak over night. Drain and rinse the cashews once softened. In a Cuisinart or Vitamix, add cashews and cover with fresh water, about an inch above the cashews. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until just al dente. Set aside 2 cups of pasta water and drain. In a large saute pan, saute shallot in olive oil over low/medium heat until tender. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add 1 cup of pasta water and stir. Add pasta and add an additional cup of pasta water. Add cashew cream (I used about 1/2 cup and an extra 1 Tbsp, but add more/less based on your taste). Stir the pasta with the cashew cream until coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh basil and parsley, continuing to stir over low/medium heat. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems too thick for your liking. Once the pasta is well incorporated with the sauce, season again to taste and squeeze lemon juice over the top of the dish. Don’t be too heavy handed – you can always add more lemon to taste. Serve immediately.

You’ll have leftover cashew cream. Explore the different ways you can use it!



March 25, 2012

Lemon-Scented Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes (adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)These are the lightest, most spongey pancakes ever. Don’t be surprised if you can eat an entire stack in one sitting. 7 Tbsp Flour1 cup Sour Cream2 Tbsp Sugar1 Tsp Baking Soda1/2 tsp Salt2 large Eggs1 tsp Vanilla Extract1 tsp Lemon zest1 cup fresh Blueberries 2-3 Tbsp ButterSyrupIn a bowl add sour cream. Sift in all dry ingredients and mix together well. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes. Pour egg mixture into the pancake batter and stir together until incorporated. Add lemon zest and mix in. Heat griddle over medium heat for a few minutes until hot. Grease with butter. Using a ladle, pour batter onto griddle and sprinkle pancakes with fresh blueberries. Cook each side of the pancake for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from griddle and serve immediately with butter and syrup.

May 3, 2010

It got HOT this weekend.  Like the kind of hot we only dreamed of growing up in Washington.  I spent approximately 7 hours of this weekend sweating away in McCarren park with various friends.  It was grand.  And gross. 
Earlier in the week I had invited my friend Jenn De La Vega to come by for dinner, not realizing how super warm life would be by Sunday evening.  Boy oh boy, I am glad I selected some recipes that did not require too much oven time. 
Last week I met Emma for a snack at Bakeri, where I ordered a delicious avocado sandwich with a small scoop of chickpea salad.  OMG the salad was so simple but so incredible.  I sat there chewing like some a-hole foodie trying to figure out the ingredients to recreate it.  It was worth it.  I’ve made the dish twice in the past week – for the Dinner with the Band premiere celebration and then tonight. 
I don’t have exact measurements for this, so just do whatever tastes best.
Chickpea Salad
Bakeri Chickpea Salad
1 can of garbanzo beans (or you can use fresh ones, you snob)Juice of 1 1/2 lemons1/4 cup of parsley1/4 cup of chopped red onion1 tbls of mustard seedsalt and pepper to taste
The other two things I made were from recipes I found using Tastespotting. If you have not used this site, DO IT!  Lovely pictures + great recipes.  It’s the Hypemachine of food.
Orange and Fennel Salad
Orange and Fennel Salad (from Cate’s World)
makes 3 small servings
1 medium fennel bulb , thinly sliced (slice the celery-looking stalks too) 1 medium navel orange, cut into sections 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Toss the fennel, oranges, and red onion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour over the fennel mixture and toss well.
Chill for about 20 minutes, covered, then sprinkle with walnuts to serve.
(I made this with 2 big fennel bulbs and it made about 5 servings. Toast the walnuts.  Makes a big difference. Also, I have no idea how to cut oranges properly.  Totally embarrassing.)
Maple Sesame Tofu (adapted from andthenidontdothedishes)
I saw this recipe and was jealous that I didn’t eat salmon… I remember something similar to this that my mom used to make with cod – one of the only fish dishes I liked as a kid (except salmon mashed with a ton of mayonnaise.)  I figured that the marinade would be just as tasty with a firm tofu, so I went-a-marinating. Toasted sesame seeds are key. 
Salmon or trout fillets (enough for 4 to 6 people) Tofu Steak* 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium) 2 tsp rice vinegar 1 tsp sesame oil 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Pour over the tofu and let it marinate.
I have a convection oven, so this sort of dish required a bit more attention.. but if you go by the recipe directions, you should run things under a broiler for 10 mins.
The final product:
Sunday Dinner
Jenn is a big fan of all things meat, so she was pleased with the tofu marinade (and was thinking of meats to apply it to) and even liked the fennel well (it can be a bit licoricey but the citrus juice mellows it out a ton.)  Also joining us for dinner was her friend Paul who  is in town with his company 2 Player covering their friends at Penny Arcade being honored as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100.  COOL!
* Jenn told me that if you freeze any style of tofu and then cook it, it changed the molecularblahblahblah and it basically easier/firmer to eat/cook