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vegan

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Cashew Fried Rice

We've all been there: we're in a rush, we're hungry, and we want something yummy, maybe a little salty, and satisfying. We want it fast! Sometimes, that means we end up ordering takeout. 

I work every day in a kitchen cooking for my clients, so it's rare that I'm ordering takeout. But even if that wasn't the case, I can't say I'd be a big fan. The problem with ordering out, especially greasy food, is that you have no control of what's going into what you're eating. That lack of control usually means eating a dish with more salt, fat, sugar, and calories than you need in one meal... and that can lead to feeling too full, sluggish, and tired... creating a moodier less than happy version of yourself. 

Which brings me to one of my favorite classic take-out dishes: fried rice! When you figure out how easy it is to make fried rice at home, you'll be making it all the time. Also, this recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice, (in fact fried rice is even better when you're using leftovers... fresh rice can end up too gummy when stir-fried), or if you don't have the time to make rice, you can use plain frozen brown rice that you buy at the grocery store. You could even swap leftover quinoa for the rice for an extra boost of protein!

This fried rice is full of flavor, protein, veggies, and all around goodness! It is a healthier way to satisfy those takeout cravings!

 CASHEW FRIED RICE

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup toasted unsalted cashews
  • 4 tablespoons liquid amino acids
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup Thai basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (for garnish)

Start by dicing 1 onion and 1 red pepper.

In a large non-stick pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Once the oil is melted and the pan is hot, add 1 diced onion, and 1 diced red pepper. Cook the onion and pepper until softened, about 5-6 minutes. Add 1 cup thawed frozen peas, and 2 tablespoons oyster sauce to the pan, and sauté for 1-2 more minutes until all of the veggies are coated and the peas are heated through. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and reserve.

In the same pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder to the pan. Next, add the cooked brown rice, and sauté it in the oil and spice for a few minutes, or until just warmed through. Add ¾ of a cup of toasted unsalted cashews, and 4 tablespoons of the liquid amino acids, and stir until the rice and nuts are thoroughly coated with the amino acids for 1 minute or so.

Add the reserved veggie mixture to the rice mixture. Mix both together until everything is well incorporated and heated through, about 1 more minute. 

Turn off the heat. Top with 3 chopped scallions, ½ cup of Thai basil leaves, and 2 teaspoons of black sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

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Roasted Mushroom Bisque with Cashew Cream

The past few months have been filled with fun travel, and I've been a little off the map. We've been filming Ted 2; set life is great, but now that I'm back in LA, I'm more than ready to share all of my new favorite dishes that I've been cooking up for fall. Even LA has a little chill in the air these days...

 When the weather drops I start craving warm nourishing bowls of soup.

 This Roasted Mushroom Bisque is so satisfying and decadent but without the fat and calories in your typical creamy soup. This creamy soup is 100% dairy free, and can easily be made vegan. Instead of slow-you-down-clog-your-arteries heavy cream, I'm using a raw cashew cream to give this dish its rich deliciousness, and of course, that cashew cream is adding an extra element of protein.

 The stars of this show are immune-boosting mushrooms! Mushrooms are low in calories, and high in vitamin D. They have a meaty umami flavor, and are a great addition to any healthy diet. 

 As a BIG bonus this bisque can be used for more than just soup! If you add a little less stock to the mushroom and cashew mixture you will have a sauce that can be used for a fine-dining style pasta dish... Or use the sauce to ladle over your favorite chicken, meat or veggie dish! How about in between sheets of lasagna? So many options.

 And on that note... I'm about to go snuggle up with a warm, delicious, bowl of this goodness!

 Roasted Mushroom Bisque with Cashew Raisin Cream Two Ways

for the bisque-

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thin
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 3-4 cups homemade chicken stock (or substitute with veggie stock)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • freshly ground pink peppercorn
  • 1/4 cup Merlot/Cabernet vinegar blend (or Madeira)

for the cashew cream-

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • pinch of smoked sea salt
  • freshly ground pink peppercorn
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock (or substitute with veggie stock)

 garnish- 

  • thinly sliced fennel
  • roughly chopped parsley
  • roasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

 On a parchment-lined baking place the mushrooms. Top them with shallot, garlic and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and roast the mushrooms for 30 minutes or until browned and tender. While the mushrooms are roasting, pour boiling water over the cashews, and soak them for 30 minutes.

Once the mushrooms are roasted, cut them up into large chunks.

In a Nutribullet, or in a high-powered blender, add the chunks of cooked mushroom, shallot, and garlic, flax,  and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Blend until creamy. Once smooth, pour the mixture through a strainer and into a large cast iron skillet or a Dutch oven. Add the remaining stock, soy sauce and pepper to the pan. Heat the mixture on low. Simmer the soup for 5-6 minutes, until the soup is hot and the flavors have come together. Be careful not to boil the soup. Once heated through, add the vinegar or Madeira to the mixture. Stir, taste, and simmer for another few minutes.

 While the soup is simmering, make the cashew cream. In the same blender (it doesn't even need to be cleaned since it's all going in the same pot!), add the soaked cashews, raisins, salt, pepper and some of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth.

 Add the cashew cream to the pot of soup, and swirl it in. Ladle into a bowl. Garnish with thinly sliced fennel, fresh parsley, and pine nuts. 

 Add more or less stock depending on the desired thickness of your bisque. If you add less liquid, you can make a silky smooth purée to serve along with roast chicken, or as a sauce for pasta.

In fact,  I used some leftover bisque and cashew cream to make this fine-dining style pasta dish! Just boil some of your favorite pasta, add the thick mushroom and cashew mixture to the cooked pasta, toss gently, drizzle with truffle oil, or season with truffle salt, and serve!

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