Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew “Cheese” with Yellow Squash

Since we moved to our new home in May, my weekends have been focused on the house and these Sunday night posts have turned in to decorating updates.  “I painted this.” Or “I rearranged that.”  I am pleased to say I did a few non-home things this weekend.

I decided at the last minute Friday night to meet Matt at our friend’s gym, CrossFit Elevation, to do a Friday night team WOD.  Fun time!

Picture courtesy of CrossFit Elevation

I went with my cousin Claire to look for a wedding dress.

Don’t worry, I’m not ruining the surprise. She didn’t get this dress.

I celebrated the christening of my friends Kelly and Charlie’s sweet baby boy.

I even got to hold him, although I couldn’t get him to show his big, sweet smile!

And I made Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew “Cheese” with Yellow Squash, which turned out better than I even expected.

Using soaked cashews as an alternate for cheese is an old-school vegan trick. I’ve never been vegan and I had never tried it. But due to some amazing, grass-fed, organic cheddar that I ate last Saturday, I had cheese on my mind this week. So this weekend, I wanted to see if I could use the cashews to come up with a paleo (and vegan) alternative to following the yellow cheese road.

I’m telling you that as a substitute for ricotta cheese, this really worked! It didn’t have that melty gooiness of mozzarella, but it had a great, creamy flavor.  I thought about using this cheese alternative to make a lasagna with ground beef and zucchini noodles — but I opted for the much faster chop-and-toss-and-roast approach.  I am really excited to have this as an option for the week — and the future.

Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew “Cheese” with Yellow Squash

Raw cashews, 1 cup

Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, ½ cup (I used ones I bought at Costco.)

Basil, ¾ teaspoon

Oregano, ½ teaspoon

Garlic powder, ½ teaspoon

Olive oil, ¼ cup

Water, 1 tablespoon (or more as needed)

Salt and pepper, about ½ teaspoon each

Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons

Yellow squash, 4 cups diced

Garnish: Fresh basil

  1. The night before making this, place cashews in glass container and add enough water to cover them.  Let sit overnight in the fridge then drain water.
  2. Using food processor or hand blender, puree together cashews, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic powder, olive oil, water, salt and pepper.  The cashew “cheese” mixture will be pretty thick, sort of like ricotta cheese.  You can add more water if you want it a little thinner. ( I did not.)
  3. Then, toss yellow squash with coconut oil and place on tray.  Cook for about 40 minutes, until soft and starting to brown.
  4. Remove squash from oven and stir together with cashew cheese.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves.