Cashew Nacho Cheese and Whole30 Ranch
Happy Friday! Ready for some weird art and recipes? My hot button topic today is: Fad diets, why I love to hate on them but am doing one anyway. I’ll be the first to admit that I think most fad diets and cleanses are hot garbage. Then I tried one last year out of desperation to figure out why my body was feeling so out of whack a year and a half after I had my daughter. So in solidarity, my husband decided to do a Whole30 with me last February. Have you ever done a Whole30? It’s literally the MOST restrictive diet you can be on. No gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol- basically anything good. It was hard, and all I wanted to eat was cheese, but it really did help me to hit the reset button on my body. I felt a hell of a lot better while doing it- more energy, better sleep, and I managed to shed almost 10 lbs. But one of the most exciting things for me during the whole process was getting REALLY creative in the kitchen. It was an awesome challenge for someone who loves to cook, and especially, loves to eat. One thing I learned from my first go at a Whole30 was that you really need to have some tasty sauces and dressings in your arsenal to make eating nothing but meat and vegetables more exciting. This cashew nacho cheese and Whole30 ranch dressing really got me through some hard times. Give these a go whether you’re doing a crazy fad diet, or maybe you’re already living a vegan lifestyle, or just want to try something new. I also made a little weirdo art piece inspired by my plant based nacho concoction. Hope you like them.
Cashew Nacho Cheese
1/2 C raw cashew pieces
1/2 C water
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp fire roasted green chilis
salt to taste (approximately 1/4-1/2 tsp depending on your salt preference)
In a blender combine cashews and water. Let sit for at least 15 minutes or overnight. Once the nuts have had time to soak, add nutritional yeast, taco seasoning, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and chilis. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Yields approximately 1 C of cashew nacho cheese.
Whole30 Ranch Dressing
1 C Whole30 approved mayo
1/4 C lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 C chopped dill
1/4 C chopped chives
2 Tbsp chopped Italian leaf parsley
3 Tbsp olive oil
In a large mason jar add all ingredients except for salt and pepper. Make sure the lid is on tight, and shake vigorously until the dressing has emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields approximately 1.5 C of dressing.