Saturday, April 26, 2014

Eating My Way Across LA

Recently I had to go to Los Angeles for business. While there, we ate at Gratitude, a wonderful vegan/raw food restaurant where other people seem to spot celebs left and right. Not me - I'm basically clueless and (I suspect) more interested in looking at my food that some vaguely familiar schmuck also trying to just get a meal.

This time I had "Warm-hearted". The fun thing about Gratitude is that they set the plates down and tell you you are whatever it was that you eat -- "You *are* Warm-hearted!" This never fails to crack me up.

Warm-hearted is grilled polenta, topped with mushroom ragu, sautéed spinach, cashew ricotta, brazil nut parmesan,  and basil. I think J will love it, and it will improve my vegan offerings.

Vegan Brazil Nut Parmesan Cheese
The original recipe is from here. 

1 Cup Brazil nuts
Method1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/3 teaspoon salt

Place nute, garlic and salt in food processor and pulse until combined. That's it! Be sure to store it in the fridge in an airtight container.

Cashew Ricotta
The original recipe is from here.

1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked

1/2 cup water

juice of 1 large lemon or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast*

1 garlic clove

dash of onion powder

himalayan sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Soak the cashews for at least two hours in a bowl of water, covering the cashews about an inch of water as they will puff up a bit.
Drain cashews and place all remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor, blend scraping down sides as needed until creamy. Taste for flavors adding any additional ingredients. Some like a salty ricotta so feel free to add as much salt as you want.
Store in refrigerator in an air tight container for an hour or two, this will stiffen the mixture a bit. You can also just prepare your dish with it straight away without refrigeration if needed.
Makes appx. 2 cups. Stores in refrigerator for up to a week.
*You could do just as well without the nutritional yeast if you don't have it. I only added a small amount, probably pretty unnoticeable. I will be trying more next time to play around with it a bit. If you do add it, it will add a bit more cheesy flavor and some good nutritional value.