Friday, August 16, 2013

Creamy Cashew Dip a.k.a. Ninja Awesomesauce (with bonus recipe - homemade vegan mayo!)

Hello, dearest ninja readers!  I'm here today with two lovely recipes just for you.  The first is a creamy dip/spread/sauce made primarily of raw cashews with some other yummy stuff thrown in there.  It's easy and amazing and I have thus dubbed it "Awesomesauce."  It's thick and creamy enough to dip raw veggies in (carrots are my fave) or spread on a sandwich or burger.  If you want it thinner to pour over steamed broccoli or something, just add more water.  Easy!

The "bonus" recipe is my own recipe for homemade vegan mayo.  Before I figured out this recipe, I was a great lover of Vegenaise, but at over 4 bucks a jar the stuff is expensive as all the only place I've found it around here is Whole Foods and I hate making a special trip there just for Vegenaise.  I swear, this stuff tastes just as good and it's made with easy-to-find ingredients and costs a fraction of what store-bought vegan mayo will run you.  I like it on veggie burgers or on tomato sandwiches with tomatoes fresh from my garden.

On to the recipes!

Creamy Cashew Dip a.k.a. Awesomesauce

Served up with loads of fresh veggies - yum!


1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic
1/4 of a small onion
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 

Throw all that stuff in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  If it's not creamy enough, just add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the right consistency.  Eat.  That's it!  This stuff never lasts long in my house.

Tips and Tricks:

1. Make sure you use RAW cashews.  Roasted ones won't work.

2. The hot pepper sauce is optional.  It honestly doesn't make the dip spicy at all (just a little underlying zing I guess) so if you want to omit it, you can with no harm done.  On the other hand, if you want this stuff super-spicy, try doubling the amount, or adding more in a little at a time until you reach your desired level of hotness.

Bonus recipe: Ninja Vegan Mayo


12oz box of silken tofu (the shelf-stable kind)
1/2 cup canola or other light oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave (or use regular sugar)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon arrowroot
pinch onion powder
pinch garlic powder
pinch white pepper 

Blend it all up until well combined.  Spread on everything.  Eat.

Tips and Tricks:

1. If all you have is water-packed tofu, this will probably still work, but water packed tofu tends to come in larger packages, so don't quite use all of it.

2. If you don't have arrowroot, you can leave it out; your mayo will just have a slightly thinner consistency.

3. If you don't have white pepper, just use black; it'll be fine.

4. This keeps in the fridge in a lidded container for quite a while, if you open the container and there is liquid sitting on top, just stir it back in again.

Well ninjas, that is all for today.  Two quick and easy recipes to spread all over your veggies and burgers as we close out the summer.  I'll have more recipes coming soon, as well as pics of the newest addition to the Fur Ninja family - Star the pit bull!  (and yes, that is the name she came with).  We rescued her 3 weeks ago and I couldn't have asked for a better best friend.  She's a little camera-shy, but pics to come soon.  Until then, happy eating!


The Fur Ninja <3>

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"That Mexican Thing" a.k.a. Southwest Veggie and Okra Stew with bonus rice recipe

So wow....I haven't posted in a bit over 2 months.  I kind of feel bad.  Did any of you miss me?  Or miss my food at least?

Well, here I am, back again with a recipe that I've made a couple of times now and it always turns out pretty delicious.  Plus, it's insanely easy.  It's based on a recipe that I found hand-written in messy scrawl on a scrap of paper and tucked inside one of my cookbooks.  I suspect that my ex boyfriend/good friend Andy found it on the internet and wrote it down because I vaguely remember him making something yummy with okra in it for me once.  Well, I have no idea where he got it or why it was in one of my cookbooks, but I found it, tweaked it, and here it is for your enjoyment.

It's a called "stew" because I've been serving it with rice, but it would also be good stuffed into tacos or a burrito or just dipped into with some crunchy tortilla chips, so it's really versatile; hence around our house we've just been referring to it as "that Mexican thing."  I've also included  a recipe for cheater "Spanish rice" when, dammit, you're just too lazy to put any effort into it.  Serve them both together for a quick, easy, and veggie-ful meal.  The rice recipe is below the main recipe.

"That Mexican Thing" or Southwest Veggie and Okra Stew


2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup corn kernels
4 cups sliced okra
16 ounce can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 can water
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

chopped avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the minced garlic, onion, jalapeno, and bell pepper.  Cook for 4 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the spices and salt and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the corn, okra, and refried beans.  Fill the can up again halfway with water, add the cornstarch, and mix with a fork until the lumps are dissolved.  Add the water and cornstarch mixture into the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Boil gently for 3-4 minutes until the beans form a thick sauce.  Turn off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast and cilantro.
Garnish individual servings with more chopped cilantro, avocado, tomato, and onion.  Enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:

1. Use frozen corn kernels and frozen pre-sliced okra to save time.

2. Make sure to check your refried beans to make sure they are vegetarian - some are made with lard; ew!

3. Serve with Cheater Spanish Rice (recipe below)

Cheater Spanish Rice


2 cups hot cooked rice (white or brown)***
1 Tablespoon non-dairy butter (optional)
1/2 cup of your favorite jarred salsa

Mix together.  That's it!

*** Use quinoa or couscous or any other kind of grain to change things up a bit!

That's all for now; hope you enjoy :)  Recipes soon for my homemade vegan mayo and creamy cashew dip, a.k.a. "Awesome Sauce."

Also, I'm adopting my very own doggy from the animal shelter on Friday, so pics of him/her soon to come as well!  Until then....much love and happy vegan tummies!


The Fur Ninja <3

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fur Ninja's Ridiculously Radical Red Velvet Cake

Holy crap.....try this cake.  No seriously.  Try it.  Mike said it was the BEST red velvet cake he's ever had (presumably that includes non-vegan ones baked by grandma) so I think that's a pretty strong endorsement.  And it wasn't just Mike scarfing it down either.  The Bills (we have two friends named Bill) each scarfed down a couple of pieces.  AND Mike's kids all loved it, which is good, because the reason I made it was it was his daughter Monnet's 16th birthday.  It's delicious and ridiculously moist and flavorful and everything a red velvet cake should be.  If you never make anything else that I post on here, make this cake.  MAKE IT!  MAKE IT NOOOOOW!


Here's the recipe:

Fur Ninja's Ridiculously Radical Red Velvet Cake

I'm drooling right now

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 1/2 cups canola or other light vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ninja Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 13x9" pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.  Combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar in a small bowl or measuring cup and allow to sit for a few minutes to curdle.  In a large bowl, combine the non-dairy milk mixture, canola oil, applesauce, red food coloring, and vanilla and mix well.  Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter is formed.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.

Ninja Cream Cheese Frosting


1 - 8 ounce package plain Tofutti or other cream cheese substitute
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip tofutti, non-dairy butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition.  When all of the sugar is added, beat at high speed for 5 minutes until icing is fluffy.  Ice the top of the cake once cooled.

Tips and Tricks:

1. I made this as a sheet cake because it was A. easy and B. I can't find my round cake pans.  You could most definitely make this into a layer cake or cupcakes, although you may have to adjust baking times.  I'll try to make these in the future and edit the recipe to include baking times for both.  Or feel free to comment and let me know how long you baked them if you tried this!

2. I love Tofutti cream cheese.  LOVE IT.  Smeared on a toasted "everything" bagel and topped with thin sliced tomato, salt, and's simply the best there is.  However, there are other vegan-friendly cream cheese subs out there, so feel free to use whatever floats your ninja boat.  If you do use Tofutti, try to find the stuff in the yellow package rather than the white, because it has no trans fats.

3. This requires a LOT of red food coloring.  Don't get the little package with all 4 colors in need the big single bottle of red.  And you'll use most of the bottle.  Just a warning so you don't find yourself short of red coloring in the middle of the recipe.

Well, there it is.  An amazingly awesome cake recipe just for you.  It's horribly fattening, but that's just a reason to share with friends.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I'll be returning soon with my now-perfected homemade vegan mayo recipe, veggie-full mac and cheeze, and curried vegetable soup.  Until next time!


The Fur Ninja <3