Tag Archives: nutmilk

Cheesy Quinoa Grits

21 Mar

I usually want something sweet for breakfast like oatmeal with maple syrup and dried fruit, or a smoothie, but this morning I was craving something savory.

I love grits and polenta. I thought it would be fun to try a veganized version with quinoa and Daiya cheese. I wasn’t sure how I’d make the sauce at first. I started making a bechamel sauce, but I didn’t need the roux to thicken. The Daiya melted so beautifully and was the perfect consistency, you’d never believe it’s non-dairy.

As with all experimental recipes, it’s always a gamble. Sometimes they end up in the trash, sometimes they end up in the permanent repertoire. The fluffy quinoa with the creamy cheese was hearty and satisfying while the black pepper gave a nice heat at the end. Quinoa is low-fat, high in protein, and fiber, so it’s filling and good for you! It’s perfect for a quick and nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

This could be a healthy alternative to mac and cheese for the kids if they are open to trying new things, or if they already like quinoa. Next time I would even try it with itsy, bitsy broccoli florets. You could also substitute quinoa with two cups of elbow macaroni. I think I know what my next experiment is…

The whole recipe takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare if you have to make the quinoa. If you cook the quinoa in advance, this dish comes together very quickly since the sauce only takes about 5 minutes.

I even got the thumbs up from the omnivore hubbie so I’ll definitely make this one again!

Cheesy Quinoa Grits

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1/4 cup milk (I use hemp milk, but you could use any nut milk too) *

1/2 cup cheddar cheese (I use vegan non-dairy Daiya cheddar cheese)*

salt & pepper

hot sauce

*If you want it extra cheesy, double the sauce recipe.

1. Prepare quinoa according to manufacturer’s directions.

Fluffy Quinoa

2. Once quinoa is cooked and still warm. Make the sauce.

3. Bring the milk to a boil with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of ground pepper (1-2tsp).

Milk and Pepper

4. Add the cheese. Once becomes creamy and sauce-like texture, add couple shakes of tabasco.

Bubbling Sauce

Stirring the Sauce

5. Pour over cooked and warm quinoa. Stir until fully incorporated.

Cheese Over Quinoa

6. Serve immediately.

Cheesy Quinoa Grits


Spring Cleansing

14 Mar

I’ve done it again. I survived my third Blue Print Cleanse! Now you know why I haven’t posted a recipe in a few days. Cleansing + Cooking = Torture.

Why cleanse? Good question. I cleanse when I’m feeling run down, or have been overindulging and need to get back on track. To me, a successful cleanse is based on replenishing and taking care of the body, not depriving it. Juicing, in particular, gives the body a break from all the hard work of digesting and processing food. It floods the system with nutrients it may have been lacking. In liquid form, the nutrients are easily absorbed into the bloodstream enabling your body to reap the full benefits to create inner balance.

Blue Print Cleanse is a nutritional juice cleanse founded by Zoe Sakoutis, a raw-foodist and certified nutritional consultant, and Erica Huss. Their juices are unpasteurized, unprocessed, raw, vegan, and locally sourced from sustainable farms.

There are six bottles of juice per day, with a recommended three day minimum cleanse. BPC has three levels to choose from: Renovation, Foundation, Excavation. The levels vary from gentle (more fruit based juices) to aggressive (more green juices) and should be selected based on current eating habits. If you eat total crap, start with Renovation. If you’re a pretty conscious, healthy eater, try Excavation. See their website for details. The best part? They taste delicious and it’s idiot proof. Usually I’m obsessing about what to eat for dinner while I’m eating breakfast. On BPC, I can even give my brain a break from worrying about my next meal.

Here are the juices I had on the three-day Excavation cleanse. The bottles are numbered and consumed in numerical order approximately every two hours.

Green Juice (juices 1,2,3, & 5)- Romaine, celery, cucumber, apple, spinach, kale, parsley, lemon and ginger. I love it. Lemony and refreshing, I never get sick of it.

Spicy Lemonade ( juice 4) – Lemon juice, agave, cayenne pepper. Tastes exactly like it sounds, tart with a very subtle heat.

Cashew Milk (juice 6) – Cashew, water, vanilla, cinnamon, agave. This is like the golden child of the cleanse. It’s bottled dessert. I look forward to it all day long.

Blue Print Cleanse Excavation - photo courtesy of BPC website

BPC emphasizes the importance of pre- and post-cleansing. I’ll admit, this time I wasn’t as diligent as I usually am, which is probably why I struggled a bit. It’s important to ease in and out of the cleanse so you don’t shock your system. Their website has all the details and their customer service is quick to respond to any questions via email, Facebook, or Twitter @BPCleanse. BPC also sends guidelines on preparing and coming off the cleanse via email, along with words of encouragement throughout the cleanse (a nice touch).

Although it’s supposedly fine to workout while cleansing, it made me pretty hungry especially in the afternoons, and I had to “cheat” with some celery. Yes, I know it’s sad when celery is on the cheat list. But now that it’s all done, my skin is clear and glowing, I feel “clean”, and invigorated. Any cravings I had have subsided, and the little sweet tooth devil is off my shoulder.

BPC is available at Whole Foods Tribeca. I usually buy a couple bottles after class at Soul Cycle. You can also order through BPC’s website with the option to pick-up or and have it delivered. Delivery in NYC is only an extra $5 a day and it sure beats lugging 18 bottles home. They also have FEDEX so check it out no matter what zip code you’re in, you might be able to get it too!

If you’re interested in making your own juices/smoothies and other cleansing recipes at home, get Zoe & Erica’s book, The 3-Day Cleanse. I’ve made a couple recipes from it (including the infamous cashew milk) and really enjoyed them.

The 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis & Erica Huss

TheKitchn.com recently posed the question “Can Food Lovers Really Survive a Cleanse?”  My answer? Absolutely. Not everyone believes in cleansing and I respect that. But I do think cleanses like Blue Print are beneficial, even if you’re already a healthy eater. Juice cleansing floods your body with water and tons of nutrients so it’s not just about getting the bad out, it’s about overloading your body with good. If the idea of not consuming any solids for three days freaks you out, BPC has a Juice ’til Dinner program that consists of four BPC juices, a two course vegetarian meal, and two tasty snacks. I’ve never done it, but seems like a good way to dip your toe in, if you’re new to cleansing.

I’ve seen people commenting on Twitter about how they could never cleanse because they love food too much, or they couldn’t be vegetarian or vegan for the same reason. I think they’d be surprised that many people who cleanse, are vegetarians, or vegans, are actually big-time eaters, like ME. Afterall, most are very aware of what we put in our bodies, which requires not only nutritional awareness, but also a deep love of food/cooking, and concern for how our food is grown and sourced.

What do you think? Have you done a cleanse or considering doing one? Tried Blue Print already? What did you think? Please share!

Happy Spring Everyone!!

day 6 vegan: “wannabe” BPC cashew milk

8 Jan

Day 6 – Wannabe BPC Cashew Milk

Everywhere I turn, someone is on a new year’s cleanse. Three of my friends are starting Blue Print Cleanse on Monday. They don’t know each other so I know this is more than a coincidence. I’m excited that people are cleansing to kick-start their new year’s resolutions. There was a time when I’d say the word “cleanse” and I’d see that you’re talkin’ crazy expression on my friend’s face. Well, all this talk of BPC got me craving that damn Cashew Milk. And I mean DAMN. That stuff is good. I would look forward to having it all day since it’s the last drink of the day. I’ve done BPC three times and honestly, I love it. I would do it more often, if it were free. It was on Gilt Groupe this week, but of course everything sold out by the time I looked. I’m waiting for another special offer to show up in my inbox (hint, hint BPC). I did read yesterday that rumor is… BPC is now available at Whole Foods Tribeca. I’m swinging by Tuesday after Soul-Cycle to see for myself. If it’s there, I’m totally stocking up on green juice!!

Anywho, a few months ago, I bought The 3-Day Cleanse book (by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, the founders of Blue Print Cleanse) specifically for the Cashew Milk recipe. I think the recipe in the book is slightly different than what comes with a juice order. I don’t recall the last round I had having any extra virgin coconut oil in it?

I’ve altered the recipe slightly, so it tastes closer to what you get when you order BPC. It’s SOOOOO easy to make and totally delicious. I save my BPC bottles to reuse when I make extra cashew milk to take with me on the go, or to have at home. I drink it as a snack, breakfast, or sometimes just have a few sips after dinner as a dessert. It’s like duct tape, it fixes everything. The bottles have a fantastic seal so I sometimes use them to put fresh juice in for my hubbie to take to the office.

For those of you with new year’s resolutions to save money, here’s the recipe you can make at home. I recommend using a high-powered blender like Vitamix to ensure the nuts are really pulverized and create a smooth, milky, consistency/texture.

“Wannabe” BPC Cashew Milk

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 1 hour (in 1 cup filtered water)

2 cups fresh filtered water (don’t use the water you soaked the cashews in)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons agave

Drain the nuts. Combine all the ingredients and blend until completely smooth in a high-powered, premium blender. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake before drinking.

To make a chocolate version add 3 T raw cacao nibs, blend and enjoy!

smile my pretty Vitamix

Again, disregard the fact that the bottle in the pic is juice #5. On BPC, cashew milk is #6, but I re-used a bottle here.

Adapted from The 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis & Erica Huss

Vitamix model featured is the Super 5200

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