I go to a restaurant, order a meal, and upon first bite, exclaim: "We could MAKE this!"
I get so excited letting the flavors roll in my mouth, trying to sort out the spices. I examine contents, imagine the method, and make mental notes for later.
A couple recreations include Pearl Street Grill's "Queen City" sandwich: "Portabella mushrooms, caramelized onions, roaster red peppers, provolone, and garlic mayo grilled between wheat berry bread"
My version: Marinated, roasted portabella mushroom cap with sauteed onions and sweet peppers in between toasted wheat berry bread.
That one took a while to make with the mushroom cap and all, but it was worth it.
Another favorite I love to re-create is Merge's "Smothered sweet potato fries" with "spiced lentils, spinach and daiya cheese"
Their fries are crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside. The lentils are curry spiced and the vegan cheese lends the perfect salty touch.
My version: Spiced, baked sweet potato wedges with curried lentils and wilted spinach. Homemade vegan cashew cheese to top.
Cashew cheese?!?!? Why, yes, it is.
And it's delicious.
And it's super easy.
And it's healthier for you then dairy cheese.
This cashew cheese is creamy and chewy at the same time. It has just the right amount of salt and "cheesy" flavor. I always use it atop my version of Merge's smothered sweet potato fries, but it's also an awesome dip for pretzels, a great spread for crackers and crostini, and (while I haven't tried it yet) I bet it would make a killer grilled cheese.
2 cups cashews
1/4 cup water
2 T nutritional yeast
2 t lemon juice
1 t garlic powder
Dash of sea salt
Dash of pepper
1. Soak cashews for 2 hours
2. Drain cashews and throw in food processor with all other ingredients.
3. Combine until smooth, scraping the sides occasionally.
4. Store in air tight container, in fridge, for up to 5 days.